Too many kids are still fatally drowning in swimming pools and spas every year in the U.S.. According to a new report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, drowning continues to be the number one cause of death among children between 1 and 4 years old and the second leading cause of death among children 5 to 14-years old.
Families need to be constantly educated about the risks of fatal and non-fatal child drowning in spas and swimming pools. Therefore the “CPSC Pool Safety Campaign” team and the Michael Phelps Foundation recently announced that they were joining forces to fight this serious public health crisis. In a recent joint press conference of the CPSC and the Micheal Phelps Foundation, Micheal Phelps told media that the CPSC pool campaign would be integrated into his IM Program. The program encourages children to be healthy and active by offering swimming lessons, water safety courses and other recreational activities around the pool. At a recent event, children learned to swim and how to be safe in the water. Every child also took the pool safety pledge to
- never swim alone
- ask parents for swimming lessons
- always stay away from drains
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has been campaigning since 2010 to gain parents awareness about drowning dangers. In 2010 397 children younger than 15 (including 305 younger than 5) suffered fatal drowning. In 2014 they were 346 with 252 younger than 5-years old. Between 2010 and 2014 the number of fatal drowning for children below 5-years old decreased by 17%.
Despite the decline in deaths, more needs to be done to continue to prevent these terrible accidents. As pool season just started in the US, the CPSC reminded parents that a few simple safety steps such as the ones listed below can prevent children from drowning:
- installing a fence around the pool
- have a designated water watcher to supervise children when they play in the pool
- teach themselves and their children how to swim
- learn CPR
- make sure children are never near a pool drain to avoid entrapments
- make sure their pool has appropiate mandatory drain covers