REPORT: 163 Children Drowned in the U.S. This Summer
According to media reports compiled by the USA Swimming Foundation, from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2017* at least 163 children younger than age 15 fatally drowned in swimming pools or spas. Of the 163 reports, 112 of the victims — nearly 70 percent — were children younger than age five. Florida led the nation in drowning deaths during this time period with 25. California was second with 16.
“Every year we see the same tragic statistics regarding pool drownings involving our children. Florida, as well as other warm weathered states, has too many of these horrible incidents” says Haggard Law Firm’s Douglas McCarron. The Haggard Law Firm has represented several families who have either lost or had a child who suffered life-altering injuries due to a drowning or near drowning. (Learn more about drowning/near-drowning cases, click here)
Haggard Law’s Christopher Marlowe adds, “We are all far too complacent around the water when it comes to child safety. After the fact analysis without exception shows definitive changes to the environment that could have prevented or drastically reduced the likelihood of death or severe traumatic brain injury.”
The Pool Safely campaign, a national public education campaign run by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), provides information on the simple steps that parents, caregivers, and pool owners should take to ensure safer pools and spas. Those steps include
- 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.
“Only through consistently and vigilantly reminding pool owners, operators, parents, and friends can we all help prevent the next child from dying or suffering life-altering injury. Be observant, be vigilant, and pass along the message to others” says Marlowe.
McCarron adds, “while some progress has been made with regulations pertaining to pool safety, there is so much more we can do. Tougher enforcement of existing regulations and legislation requiring all pool owners to have proven safety measures in place is the only way to protect our children.”
Video: Swim Safety, Broken Pool Gates.
To review the press release from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, click here