Recently released data indicates that 70 percent of African American children and 62 percent of Hispanic children cannot swim, making them especially vulnerable, according to USA Swimming.
"The USA Swimming Foundation is proud to lend its research and resources to further the life-saving learn-to-swim message," said USA Swimming's Make a Splash program manager Kim O'Shea. "We are incredibly proud to have enrolled more than 1.2 million children in swimming lessons through our Make a Splash initiative, to educate parents and communities across the nation about the importance of learning to swim."
"CPSC's Pool Safely campaign has worked to prevent countless drownings, and we will continue to work to save even more lives this year," said Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. "Drowning is still the leading cause of unintentional deaths with children younger than 5. That's why the Pool Safely campaign is encouraging all parents and caregivers of children, especially African American and Hispanic children, to help them learn to swim and to take water safety seriously."
CPSC Releases New Drowning Statistics
New statistics released by CPSC today include:
- An annual average of 390 pool or spa-related drownings for children younger than 15 occurred from 2007 to 2009; about 75 percent (293) of the reported fatalities involved children younger than 5.
- An estimated annual average of 5,200 pool or spa-related emergency department-treated submersion injuries for children younger than 15, from 2009 to 2011; children younger than 5 represented 79 percent, or 4,108, of these injuries.
- Children between the ages of 1 and 3 (12 months through 47 months of age) represented 66 percent of estimated injuries for 2009 through 2011 and 67 percent of the reported fatalities for 2007 through 2009 involving children younger than 15 years.
- The majority of the estimated emergency department-treated submersion injuries for 2009 through 2011 and the reported fatalities for 2007 through 2009 were associated with swimming pools.
- Approximately 51 percent of the estimated injuries for 2009 through 2011 and 73 percent of the fatalities for 2007 through 2009 involving children younger than 15 years old occurred at a residence.
- Residential locations dominated incidents involving victims younger than 5 years of age (54 percent for injuries and 85 percent for fatalities).
- Approximately 58 percent of fatalities (annual average of 226) occurred in in-ground pools. Portable pools accounted for 10 percent of the reported fatalities (annual average of 40) to children younger than 15 years of age.
- There were no reported entrapment fatalities for 2011. CPSC received seven reports of entrapment injury incidents during 2011.
The Pool Safely Campaign
The Pool Safely: Simple Steps to Save Lives campaign was started in 2010 by the CPSC to reduce childhood drownings, submersion injuries and entrapments. The campaign is a call-to-action for consumers and industry to use proven safety steps while in and around swimming pools and spas.
The safety campaign carries out provisions of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, a federal law mandating new requirements for public pools and spas.