Press Release, Consumer Product Safety Commission
Number of fatal drownings decreased nearly 9% from summer 2017
WASHINGTON – From Memorial Day through Labor Day 2018*, at least 148 children younger than age 15 fatally drowned in swimming pools or spas, according to media reports compiled by the USA Swimming Foundation, a CPSC Pool Safely campaign partner. The number of fatal drownings is down approximately 9% from 2017. During the same period last year, 163 children younger than age 15 drowned in swimming pools or spas, according to media reports.
“Although the decline in the number of fatal child drownings this summer is promising, drowning remains the leading cause of unintentional death for children ages one to four,” said Ann Marie Buerkle, Acting Chairman, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. “To eliminate the public health crisis of fatal child drownings, we must maintain our commitment to water safety year-round. The risk of drowning doesn’t go away when the neighborhood pool closes.”
Florida and Texas lead the nation with at least 21 fatal child drownings in each state this summer. Additionally, although Florida’s child drowning fatalities decreased year-over-year, down to 21 in 2018 from 25 in 2017, the number of drowning incidents in Texas spiked to 21 in 2018 from 14 in 2017.
The states below experienced the highest number of pool and spa drownings involving children younger than 15 from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2018*:
- Florida: 21
- Texas: 21
- California: 11
- Arizona: 7
- Tennessee: 6
- Illinois: 6
- New Jersey: 5
Pool Safely, a national public education campaign run by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), was launched in 2010 to raise awareness about pool and spa safety, as mandated by the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act. The campaign provides information on the simple steps that parents, caregivers, and pool owners should take to ensure that children and adults stay safer in and around pools and spas to reduce fatal and nonfatal drownings. All parents and caregivers are reminded to follow Pool Safely’s simple steps to keep children safer in and around the water:
- Install a four-sided fence with a self-closing, self-latching gate around all pools and spas.
- Designate an adult Water Watcher to supervise children at all times around the water.
- Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim.
- Learn how to perform CPR on children and adults.
- Teach children to stay away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments.
- Ensure any pool or spa you use has drain covers that comply with federal safety standards. If you do not know, ask your pool service provider about safer drain covers.
To learn more about Pool Safely, or to take the Pool Safely Pledge, please visit: www.poolsafely.gov