Written by Faith Anderson on May 28, 2012
CPSC Pool Safety Campaign
This year, the Pool Safety campaign’s focus is on populations most at risk of drowning, which includes children younger than five and African American and Hispanic children between the ages of five and 14, who drown at higher rates than white children. According to data from USA Swimming, 70% of African American children and 62% of Hispanic children cannot swim, making them especially vulnerable to drowning accidents. “CPSC’s Pool Safety campaign has worked to prevent countless drownings, and we will continue to work to save even more lives this year,” said Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “Drowning is still the leading cause of unintentional deaths with children younger than 5. That’s why the Pool Safety campaign is encouraging all parents and caregivers of children, especially African American and Hispanic children, to help them learn to swim and to take water safety seriously.”
Pool-Related Child Drownings and Injuries
According to new CPSC data, in addition to pool-related fatalities, there was also an estimated annual average of 5,200 pool- or spa-related emergency department-treated submersion injuries for children younger than 15, from 2009 to 2011, of which children younger than five represented 79%. Children between the ages of one and three represented 66% of estimated injuries between 2009 and 2011, and 67% of reported fatalities between 2007 and 2009 involving children younger than 15. In light of this alarming data, Tenenbaum shared simple steps to promote pool safety at an event at the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Ft. Lauderdale.
Educating Parents About the Importance of Learning to Swim
Kim Burgess, a representative of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance, said, “Education is the key to preventing tragic incidents at the pool this summer. We encourage everyone to pool safely this holiday weekend and in the months to come.” Additionally, USA Swimming’s “Make a Splash” official Kim O’Shea said, “The USA Swimming Foundation is proud to lend its research and resources to further the life-saving learn-to-swim message.” The foundation enrolled more than 1.2 million children in swimming lessons through its “Make a Splash” program, and has taken steps to educate parents and communities across the country about the importance of learning to swim.