Early Warm Temps Are A Reminder about Pool Safety
Alabama ties at 5th for pool/spa drownings in 2018.
Alabama was among the deadliest states in the U.S. for child pool and spa drownings in 2018, with 8 child swimming pool and spa drownings occurring last year. This is an increase of 50 percent over 2017, when there were 4 drownings in the state.
· Nationwide there were 253 media reported fatal drownings in 2018 for children under age 15 in a swimming pool or spa.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study of racial disparities in child drownings in 2014 and found:
Among non-Hispanics, the overall drowning rate for American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) was twice the rate for whites, and the rate for blacks was 1.4 times the rate for whites. Disparities were greatest in swimming pools, with swimming pool drowning rates among blacks aged 5–19 years 5.5 times higher than those among whites in the same age group. This disparity was greatest at ages 11–12 years; at these ages, blacks drown in swimming pools at 10 times the rate of whites. Drowning prevention strategies include using barriers (e.g., fencing) and life jackets, actively supervising or lifeguarding, teaching basic swimming skills and performing bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The practicality and effectiveness of these strategies varies by setting; however, basic swimming skills can be beneficial across all settings.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission and The USA Swimming Foundation are promoting pool safety through a pledge people can take:
- Designate a water watcher every single time children in my care are in or near the water.
- Make sure my kids know how to swim.
- As a parent or guardian, learn CPR.
- Always remove portable pool ladders when not in use.
- Ensure all permanent pools have a proper fence and gate and safer drain covers.
Here’s more safety information for pool and spa owners and for parents of children who use them.