WASHINGTON – From Memorial Day through Labor Day 2019,* at least 150 children younger than age 15 fatally drowned in swimming pools or spas, according to media reports compiled by the USA Swimming Foundation, a CPSC Pool Safely campaign collaborator. The number of fatal drownings is up by approximately two drownings from 2018.
“I am saddened by the increase in fatal child drownings this summer, as compared to last year,” said Ann Marie Buerkle, Acting Chairman, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. “Drowning remains the leading cause of unintentional death for children ages one to four. Parents and caregivers must remain vigilant around pools and spas, even after they close for the season.”
Texas and Ohio led the nation this summer with fatal child drownings totaling 26 and 11, respectively. These results mark a record high for fatal drownings in Ohio, and an increase in fatal child drownings in Texas jumping from 21 in 2018 to 26 in 2019. In contrast, Florida’s child drowning fatalities significantly decreased from 21 in 2018 to 10 in 2019.
The states listed below experienced the highest number of pool and spa drownings involving children younger than 15, from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2019*:
- Texas: 26
- Ohio: 11
- Florida: 10
- California: 10
- Pennsylvania: 8
- Arizona: 7
- Georgia: 7
Pool Safely, a national public education campaign run by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), was launched in 2010, to raise awareness about pool and spa safety, as mandated by the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act. The campaign provides information on the simple steps that parents, caregivers, and pool owners should take to ensure that children and adults stay safer in and around pools and spas to reduce fatal and nonfatal drownings. All parents and caregivers are reminded to follow Pool Safely’s simple steps to keep children safer in and around the water:
- Install a four-sided fence with a self-closing, self-latching gate around all pools and spas.
- Designate an adult Water Watcher to supervise children at all times around the water.
- Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim.
- Learn how to perform CPR on children and adults.
- Teach children to stay away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments.
- Ensure any pool or spa you use has drain covers that comply with federal safety standards. If you do not know, ask your pool service provider about safer drain covers.
To learn more about Pool Safely, or to take the Pool Safely Pledge, please visit: www.poolsafely.gov
*Dates are defined as Saturday, May 25, 2019 through Monday, Sept. 2, 2019.
About the U.S. CPSC
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risk of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product-related incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of injuries associated with consumer products over the past 50 years.
Federal law prohibits any person from selling products subject to a Commission ordered recall or a voluntary recall undertaken in consultation with the CPSC.
For lifesaving information: