Each year, 10 people nationwide die from drowning each day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of those, two are children 14 and younger. For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency room care for nonfatal submersion injuries.
New report released by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) shows that the number of reported fatal child drownings in swimming pools involving children younger than 5—the most vulnerable population—has decreased 17 percent nationwide since 2010.
Progress is being made to prevent childhood drowning through the use of, adult supervision, and safety devices such as pool alarms and swimming pool enclosures such as mesh pool fences, safety covers and pool nets.
However, already this year, Riverside County has recorded at least 22 water submersion reports, five adult deaths and one child death with a report this Sunday of CAL FIRE/Riverside County Firefighters responded to a report of a toddler drowning in Jurupa Valley. Firefighters arrived on scene to find a two year old who was removed from a chlorine pool, and revived at the scene prior to their arrival. The child was transported by ground ambulance, with a firefighter paramedic on board, to an area hospital stable, but in serious condition.
“Despite the positive decline in numbers, there are still far too many children who drown each year in pools and spas across the country,” said CPSC Acting Chairperson Ann Marie Buerkle in the report. “Swimming should be fun and a great way for families to be active, so long as everyone knows how to pool safely.”
San Bernardino County Fire officials offer these safety tips when around open water:
- Install a isolation fencing between the home and the swimming pool at least 5 feet high around pools, with self-closing and self-latching gates. Never prop open a gate.
- Pool alarms, pool nets and covers can offer extra protection. But don’t rely on them to keep kids safe at all times because swimming pool owners can forget to place them back after removal.
- Children should never run, push or jump on others around water.
- Children should learn to swim. Enroll them in lessons with qualified instructors when ready. If you can’t swim, enroll with your kids.
- Do not consider young children to be drown-proof because they had swimming lessons.
- Know which of your child’s friends and neighbors have pools. Be sure they will have adult supervision.
- Keep rescue equipment, a telephone and emergency numbers by the pool.
- Never leave a child unsupervised near a pool.
- Appoint a “designated watcher” to protect children while swimming.
- If a child is missing, check the pool first — seconds count in preventing death or disability.
- Do not allow a young child in the pool without an adult.
- Do not use flotation devices as a substitute for supervision.
- Learn CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and be sure others do too.
- Remove toys when pool is not in use. Toys can attract young children to the pool.
“Memorial Day weekend represents the traditional start of the summer swim season,” said Acting Chairman Buerkle. “Before heading to the pool this weekend, I ask all parents and kids to join me and the more than 50,000 others—including Olympians Katie Ledecky and Michael Phelps—and take Pool Safely Pledge.”