With the summer months right around the corner, the chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has come out saying the number of children injured and killed due to drowning accidents is a national problem that must be fixed. The hope is that more awareness on the dangers of swimming pools and spas will lead to a reduction in the number of children hurt and killed.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, roughly 5,100 children under the age of 15 are injured each year at swimming pools and spas. Among younger children -- those under the age of 5 -- on average 390 drown a year.
When looking at just what is causing these swimming pool accidents, swimmers caught in drains is among one of the top causes. In these cases, what tends to happen is that the swimmer ends up getting trapped in the force of the water being pulled into the drain. In turn, this pulls the swimmer down and holds them under water.
From 2008 to 2010 there were 39 people caught into these drains. Of these swimmers, the majority were children under the age of 16. Two ended up dying from their injuries.
However, these types of drain accidents are certainly not the only cause of swimming pool injuries. Other common causes include slips and falls and a lack of supervision. Even in cases where someone is being paid to watch children, there are still plenty of cases caused by children not being properly supervised.
Lastly, another common reason is due to improperly secured swimming pools. This means yards not properly fenced or gates left open. This gives children unsupervised access to the pool, which can quickly turn deadly.
The hope is that parents and guardians will look at these risks as an incentive as to why children should learn how to swim.
However, those in charge of supervising children, or those who own pools, should also recognize the risks of swimming pools and take appropriate measures to prevent drownings.