With Memorial Day fast approaching and temperatures on the rise, the dangers of cooling off in a swimming pool should never be underestimated. More than half of the 174 pool and spa-related drowning deaths of children ages one to 14 within the United States last summer involved children less than five years old, according to a recent report by the USA Swimming Foundation. California led the way with 21 child deaths overall.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), minority children are often disproportionately affected by pool and spa accidents, with African American children five times more likely to drown in pools than white children the same age.
Pool Safety Campaign
In an effort to lessen the likelihood of such tragedies from occurring in the future, and in accordance with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, in 2010 the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) launched the “Pool Safely Campaign.”
The campaign seeks to raise awareness about pool and spa safety by providing tips for pool owners and pool-goers alike. In addition to never leaving a child unattended near any body of water, the CPSC recommends the designation of a responsible “Water Watcher” to oversee swimmers.
Moreover, the CPSC suggests that all adults learn to swim and perform CPR. In addition, children should be discouraged from playing near pool drains and pipes, and pool owners should take steps to comply with all federal safety standards for drain covers.
According to New Jersey swimming pool injury lawyers at Grungo Colarulo, the latter two measures help guard against drain entrapment occurring when a submerged swimmer is pinned by the force of the water as it drains from a pool, or when a body part becomes trapped in a defective drain.
The CPSC maintains that shallow depth wading pools, popular at public swimming facilities, and in-ground spas with flat drain gates and single main drain systems pose the biggest threat for entrapment, resulting in the death of two children and leaving 37 others injured between 2008 and 2012.