The federal government is asking families to protect their children from drowning

WASHINGTON – As summer approaches, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is urging families to make water safety a priority — particularly for children ages 5 to 14 — as they return to pools and summer camps.

On Thursday, the agency released updated data showing fatal drowning injuries among children and non-fatal drowning injuries among children under 15 years old remain high.

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According to the CPSC, child drowning remains the leading cause of unintentional deaths in children ages 1 to 4.

The agency’s data from 2017 to 2019 shows that there were an annual average of 389 fatal pool- or spa-related drownings involving children under the age of 15. It also reported a 17% increase in non-fatal drowning injuries treated in hospital units from 2020-21 in this age group.

The CPSC said that 73% of all reported fatal child drownings related to pools or spas involved children under the age of 5.

From 2019-21, the CPSC reported that an average of 80% of children treated in emergency departments for nonfatal drowning injuries were younger than 5 years.

The data also showed that 73% of non-fatal incidents in children under 5 years of age that led to emergency room visits occurred in a residential home, compared to nearly 27% that occurred in a public place.

“Whether a child is playing in a community pool, a neighbor’s pool, or your own, we urge parents and caregivers to prepare their children for water-related activities by reading Pool Safely’s tips and enrolling in swimming lessons this summer,” CPSC Chairman Alex Hoehn-Saric said in a statement. “Together we can help reduce pool and spa-related deaths.”

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According to the CPSC, a review of Pool Safely’s simple steps can help parents and carers keep children safe around the water.

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