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The Dangers Of Backyard Swimming Pools

The Consumer Product Safety Commission released a report last week that contained important safety items for people to bear in mind regarding swimming pools and spas. Young children, particularly those between the ages of 1 and 4, are more likely to die of drowning than any other form of unintentional death. Drowning statistics are even more disturbing for African-American and Hispanic children, according to CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. The report serves as a good safety reminder to those whose children will be exposed to pools, spas, or open water during the warm summer months. Drowning is an ever present danger for children. You must take steps to protect your children before allowing them access to these dangers.

Children under the age of 5 were much more likely to drown in a residential pool or spa than anywhere else. Backyard pools can be a source of entertainment, relaxation and exercise, but they represent a very real danger to children. Among children under 5 years of age, 85 percent of drowning deaths happened in residential pools or spas. Nearly 70 percent of the drowning deaths for children under 15 years old happened in above ground pools or portable pools.

Preventing drowning deaths requires vigilance. Children should never be allowed in or near swimming pools without adult supervision. All pools should be secured in such a way that small children cannot gain access to them without the help of an adult. Pools and spas must be equipped without proper safety gear. Finally, children should learn how to swim. According to USA Swimming, 70 percent of African American Children and 62 percent of Hispanic children do not know how to swim. This is certainly part of the reason why drowning deaths are more common for these groups.

Source: Clarksville Online, "U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission data shows most Child Drownings occur in Backyard Pools," 10 June 2013

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