There has been at least 210 child drowning and non-fatal submersion incidents in pools and spas around the country since the Memorial Day Weekend. In an effort to reduce these preventable incidents, CPSC and partners Safe Kids USA and the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA) have joined forces to introduce a new kids safety education program.
Drowning is the second-leading cause of death to children ages 1-4 in the United States. CPSC chairman, Inez Tenenbaum said it is time to change poolside behavior.
“Just one incident is one too many. These statistics are a wake up call and a reminder that these tragic incidents are preventable.”
The program is led by educational videos introduced by actress Ming-Na, the voice of Mulan in Disney animated films and star of the NBC drama ER. The video series is available to view at www.youtube.com/poolsafely and on the websites of Safe Kids
(www.safekids.org) and the NDPA (www.ndpa.org).
Poolsafely.gov recommends the following safety steps in and around the water:
Behavioral: staying close, being alert, and watching children in and around the pool
- Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa and always watch your child when they are in or near a pool or spa
- Teach children basic water safety tips
- Avoid entrapment by keeping children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings
- Have a phone close by at all times when you or your family are using a pool or spa
- If a child is missing, look for them in the pool or spa first
- Share safety instructions with family, friends and neighbors
Knowledge-based: learning and practicing water safety skills
- Learn how to swim
- Learn to perform CPR on children and adults; update those skills regularly Understand the basics of life-saving so that you can assist in a pool emergency
Equipment: having the appropriate equipment
- Install a four-foot fence around the perimeter of the pool and spa and use self-closing and self-latching gates. Ask your neighbors and community groups to do the same at all residential pools.
- If your house serves as the fourth side of a fence around a pool, install a pool alarm and use all the time
- Ensure any pool and spa you use has compliant drain covers; ask if you do not know Maintain pool and spa covers in good working order
- Have life saving equipment such as life rings or floats available for easy use