Surge In Summer Drowning Incidents Serve As A Wake-up Call – Water Safety Advocates Urge Parents To Be Vigilant
LOS ANGELES (June 21, 2005) — With summer in full swing, EMTs and fire rescuers face a surge in drowning incidents in residential swimming pools. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), these accidents annually claim the lives of nearly 500 children under the age of five.
The five states leading the nation in drowning deaths include Arizona, Florida, Texas, California and New York State. These states report 119 drowning deaths so far this year. The CDC reports, for every child that drowns, six more children are involved in “near-drowning” incidents that often result in permanent neurological damage, catastrophic medical costs, and years of therapy.
“The family swimming pool is supposed to be for fun and recreation,” said Todd Appleman, founder of www.eSafetyAlert.com, a safety products company that markets the Safety Turtle® immersion alarm. “The problem is parents are unaware of how to minimize the danger.”
This gap in awareness became acutely apparent when www.eSafetyAlert.com commissioned Harris Interactive to survey parents on pool safety. Only 41 percent said they have installed “layers of protection” around their pools.
Layers of Protection
Because drowning is a “silent death,” there is no substitute for adult supervision supplemented by “layers of protection” that include:
Install a 4 ft. high fence around the pool.
Install self-latching gates.
Use alarms on gates and doors.
Cover the pool when not in use.
Use an ASTM-approved pool alarm.
If a child is missing, always look in the pool first. Seconds count.
In case of emergency, keep a phone near the pool.
Remove toys from the pool area. They may entice children to the water.
Instruct babysitters on pool safety and the use of alarms, door latches and gates.
To prevent entrapment, have a professional inspect the drain suction fittings and covers on your pool and spa to be sure that they meet current safety standards.
Never leave a child unattended. According to many studies, in nine out of 10 drowning incidents, one or more adults are nearby.
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