At least 202 children between the ages of one and 14 drowned in pools or spas between Memorial Day and Labor Day this year. One hundred forty-three of them were under age five.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Pool Safely Campaign reports that in the U.S., drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in children one to four years old and the second for children aged five to 14.
Summer is coming to a close, but pool and spa safety is a year-round issue. The CPSC offers these tips:
- Install proper fencing around pools.
- Make sure your pool or spa has drain covers that comply with federal safety standards.
- Don’t leave children unattended in pools or spas.
- Teach your children to avoid drains, pipes, and other openings to avoid getting trapped.
Children can drown in less than two inches of water, so Nemours Center for Children’s Health Media cautions that young children also need supervision around bathtubs, ornamental fish ponds, fountains, ditches that fill with rainwater, and even buckets of water.
The danger of drowning outdoors doesn’t end with winter. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources advises that there’s no such thing as 100 percent safe ice, but recommends a minimum of five inches for ice skaters, ice fishing, and snowmobiling.
When it comes to water emergencies, a few seconds can mean the difference between life and death. When supervising children around water, keep a phone nearby, and learn basic CPR.
Photo via Thinkstock/Lifesize Collection/Photographer:Adam Petty