Today, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a new report concerning the number of child drownings, and near drownings, in pools and spas. The announcement came as May, the national Water Safety Month, winds down and we go into the Memorial Day Holiday.
The new report states that nearly 300 children younger than 5 drown in pools and spas each year. 2/3’s of these fatalities involve children ages 1-2, and 80% of the drowning fatalities occur in residential settings, either the child’s home, a friend or relative’s home or a neighborhood home. Access gained to the pool through "doggie doors" have recently been reported.
New data reveals that from 1999 through 2008, 83 reports of filter entrapments in pools and spas were made. 11 cases involved fatalities. The recently enacted Federal Pool and Spa Safety Act requires public pools and spas to have anti-entrapment devices installed. We believe that full compliance with this law has been postponed to 2010, but the agency has placed special emphasis on enforcing the new rules at public wading pools, kiddie pools and in-ground spas. The law does not apply to residential premises.
In light of these troubling statistics, parents and homeowners with pools should re-double the efforts to make their pools safe. Some common sense safety rules were posted at our home site earlier this month.