CPSC Data Shows Most Drowning Occurs in Backyard Pools

Simple steps save lives—teach all children to swim, put a fence around all pools, and always watch children in and around the water.

Washington, DC (PRWEB) July 13, 2013

A recent report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reveals that children younger than age 5 represent more than 75 percent of all pool and spa submersion deaths and 78 percent of pool and spa submersion injuries in the United States involving children younger than 15 years of age. Government data also shows that African-American and Hispanic children between the ages of 5 and 14 are at a higher risk of drowning.

"Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children between the ages of 1 and 4 and minority children drown in pools at an alarming rate," said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “The lives of countless children can be saved this summer. Take simple safety steps today—teach all children to swim, put a fence around all pools, and always watch children in and around the water.”

CPSC’s Pool Safely campaign is focusing its attention on populations most at risk of drowning:

  • Children between the ages of 1 and 3 represented 67 percent of reported fatalities and 64 percent of injuries.
  • African American children between the ages of 5 and 19 are six times more likely to drown in pools than white and Hispanic children that age, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Data from USA Swimming indicates that 70 percent of African American children and 62 percent of Hispanic children cannot swim, making them more likely to drown.

The new CPSC Pool or Spa Submersions: Estimated Injuries and Reported Fatalities, 2013 Report shows annual averages of:

  • 390 pool or spa-related drownings for children younger than 15 with 76 percent (296) of the victims being younger than 5;
  • 5,100 pool or spa-related emergency department-treated submersion injuries for children younger than 15 with 78 percent (4,000) of the injured being younger than 5.

New data from CPSC’s 2013 Submersion Report compiles information on reported pool or spa-related drowning between 2008 and 2010 and estimated pool or spa-related injuries from 2010 through 2012 for children younger than 15. The estimated averages for the three-year periods represented show:

  • Residential locations dominated incidents involving victims younger than 5 years of age; 85 percent of the fatalities occurred at residential pools or spas. About 50 percent of the injuries
and 73 percent of the fatalities involving children younger than 15 years occurred at a residence.

  • Of the reported pool fatalities for children younger than age 15, about 60 percent (231) occurred in in-ground pools; 15 percent (59) in above-ground pools, and nearly 10 percent (37) in portable pools.
  • There were no reported entrapment fatalities for 2012. The last recorded fatality of a child due to suction entrapment was in 2007. CPSC received seven reports of entrapment injury incidents during 2012.

For the complete reports see: Pool and Spa Submersions 2013 (pdf) and Circulation/Suction Entrapments 2013 (pdf). The years for reported injury and fatality statistics differ due to a lag in fatality reporting.

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Pool Safely, a national public education campaign supporting the requirements of Section 1407 of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, works with partners around the country to reduce child drownings, near-drownings submersions and entrapment incidents in swimming pools and spas. Parents, caregivers, and the media are encouraged to visit PoolSafely.gov or @PoolSafely on Twitter for vital safety information regarding the prevention of child submersions in and around pools and spas.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually.


Contact

  • Julia Gotwald
    Widmeyer
    202.667.0901
    Email