2012 Child Drownings
Written by Faith Anderson on September 17, 2012
Young Children Vulnerable to Drowning
“These figures are a strong indication that child drownings are a serious public health problem,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “We are losing too many children to drowning, tragically cutting short these young lives and leaving families devastated.” The media reports are consistent with the CPSC’s warnings that drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death among children aged one to four. The agency’s annual reports show that toddlers and young children are particularly vulnerable to drowning, and at least 100 of the 137 children who drowned in 2012 were younger than five.
Drowning is a Nationwide Problem
Every year, the CPSC releases reports regarding drownings and non-fatal submersion accidents for children younger than fifteen. According to CPSC data compiled between 2007 and 2009, an average of 243 children drowned in pools or spas during the summer months every year, which represents about 63% of the average yearly drowning figures during this time. During 2012, the following states had the largest number of pool and spa drownings involving children younger than 15 years of age: Texas (17), California (10), Ohio (9), Arizona (8), Michigan (8), Pennsylvania (7), Florida (6), Illinois (6), North Carolina (6), Alabama (5), Georgia (5), and New York (5).
CPSC Encourages Safety Around Pools and Spas
The CPSC’s Pool Safely campaign provides information on the steps that parents, pool owners and caregivers can take to ensure that adults and children alike remain safe around pools and spas. Tenenbaum warns, “While summer is ending, our vigilance in ensuring that all children pool safely must not end. With so many indoor community pools, hotel pools and spas, indoor waterparks, as well as outdoor pools that remain open in warm-weather states, we must continue our efforts to remind everyone to pool safely whenever they are near the water.”