According to information compiled from media reports and released on September 13, 2012 by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), 137 children younger than 15 years drowned in a pool or spa during the traditional summer season of Memorial Day to Labor Day this year. An additional 168 children of that age required emergency response for near-fatal incidents in pools or spas during that period.
The media figures for this summer show that 54 of these drownings occurred soon after the children left an adult who was in their immediate vicinity, and 31 children drowned despite the presence of others at the pool.
In addition, the media reports from this summer are consistent with CPSC’s annual reports in showing that young children and toddlers are especially vulnerable to drowning – at least 100 of the 137 children who drowned were younger than five. Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death among children one to four years of age.
The CPSC’s Pool Safely campaign provides information on simple steps that parents, caregivers and pool owners should take to ensure that children and adults stay safe around pools and spas:
- Stay close, be alert and watch children in and around the pool. Never leave children unattended in a pool or spa; always watch children closely around all bodies of water; teach children basic water safety tips; and keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings.
- Learn and practice water safety skills. Every family member should know how to swim. Learn how to perform CPR on both children and adults.
- Have appropriate equipment for your pool or spa. This includes pool fencing, a lockable safety cover for spas, proper drain covers to avoid entrapments, and lifesaving equipment such as life rings and a reaching pole.
Drowning tragedies occur for various reasons, including issues relating to inadequate supervision by lifeguards or other water safety personnel, and inadequate safety precautions such as fences and life-saving equipment. If you or a family member has suffered significant personal injuries, or if a loved one has suffered a wrongful death as the result of a drowning or other water-related accident, contact the law office of Swartz & Swartz, P.C. Call (617) 742-1900 in the Boston area, or for clients in greater Massachusetts, New England, or other states across the U.S., call toll-free at 1-800-545-3732. Our attorneys are here to answer your questions and protect your legal rights.