Fatal Child Drownings Drop 11 Percent Nationwide Since 2010

Good news from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission – A recently released report shows that the number of fatal child drownings in swimming pools has dropped 11 percent nationwide since 2010. CPSC officials point to success of the agency’s Pool Safely public service campaign that spotlighted simple steps that pool and spa owners can take to help keep children safe. Still, though the marked improvement is something to celebrate, the risks remain high.

In fact, despite the decrease, drowning remains the leading cause of unintentional death among children ages one to four, and the second leading cause in children ages five to 14.

The latest data from the CPSC show there were 355 reported fatal child drownings in pools and spas in 2013, down from 397 in 2010. Of these, 283 involved children younger than five, down from 302.

Other statistics from the report:

  • Between 2013 and 2015, an estimated 5,600 children younger than 15 years old were treated each year in hospital emergency rooms for non-fatal drownings in pools or spas.
  • Between 2011 and 2013, the majority of fatal drowning victims were younger than five and 77 percent were younger than 15.
  • Between 2013 and 2015, the majority of hospital emergency room-treated non-fatal drowning victims were younger than five, again with 77 percent of victims being younger than 15.
  • For children younger than 15, almost two-thirds of the fatal drowning victims were boys.
  • For children younger than five, residential locations made up 57 percent of non-fatal and 87 percent of fatal reported drowning incidents.
  • Between 2011 and 2015, 18 children under the age of 15 suffered a circulation entrapment in a pool or spa, with the majority of incidents involving children younger than 15 years of age. One, a four-year-old girl, died.

“Children drowning continues to be a public health crisis,” CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye said. “My heart breaks when I read death reports about toddlers who slip out the back door and into an unprotected pool or young kids who do not have basic swim skills and end up participating in a pool party. As the father of two young boys, I know how challenging it is to always keep an eye on your kids; but constant supervision, along with four-sided fencing, knowing how to perform CPR and teaching children how to swim are the keys to stopping child drownings. I believe that we can continue to reduce the number of drownings, because drowning is 100 percent preventable.”

See the full report and learn pool safety tips at www.poolsafely.gov. If your child is injured or loss in a preventable pool or spa accident caused by someone else’s negligence or deliberate act, or by a product defect, call 800-251-1111 to speak with a pool and water accident attorney with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell.