Two weeks ago, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) held a press conference releasing the latest statistics on water-related accidents and children. Up to Memorial Day weekend, 55 drowning and 63 near-drowning incidents had been reported by the media occurring in 29 states and territories in the first five months of 2011. Additional stunning statistics published by the CPSC are:
- An annual average of 383 pool and spa-related drownings had occurred to children younger than 15 from 2006 to 2008; almost 76 percent of the reported fatalities involved children younger than five.
- An estimated average of 5,100 pool or spa emergency department-treated submersions for children younger than 15 occurred each year from 2008 to 2010; children younger than five represented 79 percent of these-injuries.
- Children between the ages of one and three (12 to 47 months) represented 66 percent of these fatalities and 64 percent of the injuries.
ChildSafetyBlog.org thinks these statistics are very significant and that safety cautions and water safety recommendations should be reviewed by parents, family members, baby sitters, and caregivers at the beginning of every summer swimming season. Every year there are new water toys on the market; there are new types of pools and spas; not to mention new kinds of boats and watercraft to which you and your family may be exposed. So before parents allow children to ride in or on, or use certain water toys, they need to know what they are and which are safest. They also need to know what is available for use in personal flotation devices–how safe they are and where and when to use them.
We recommend to all parents, family members and babysitters–that you not take a child into the water to swim or to ride in or on a watercraft if YOU cannot swim. Many YMCA/YWCAs, universities, community colleges, community pools and wellness centers offer courses in swimming and life-saving. If you don’t know how to swim, it’s vital to learn if you have children who are going swimming! If you don’t know CPR (Cardio-Pulmonary Recussitation), it’s also good to have this in your personal skill set. There is no more frustrating experience, than to watch a person who cannot swim get in trouble and not be able to help them–whether it is your child or someone else’s.
Childsafetyblog.org also recommends staying close to kids–simply watching your kids when they are in the water, at the beach, in the pool or in the spa is fundamental to their safety and your peace of mind. So take a break, get out on the dock or the deck and make sure you know where your children are and who they are with–if not you–when water is involved. Playing in the water is fun and kids can get tired. Accidents can happen quickly and paying attention to your children and their swimming capabilities can prevent heartache.
Childsafetyblog.org wishes you a happy, healthy, and safe summer!