CPSC to Parents: Remember Pool Safety This Summer

NEW YORK (MainStreet)  — Earlier this year, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission launched a campaign to educate parents about pool safety in preparation for the hot summer months ahead.

Now, with the Fourth of July weekend approaching, the CPSC has released some alarming stats on 2011 drowning deaths and accidents to drive home the importance of its new campaign.

According to the CPSC, 48 drownings and 75 near-drowning incidents in 35 states and territories involving children 14 years old and younger have been reported by the media since Memorial Day this year. Topping the list of states with the most drowning and near-drowning incidents is Texas (15), followed by Florida (13), Arizona (11), Pennsylvania (11) and California (7).

"Far too many families have been tragically impacted by child drownings this summer. We are calling on the public to pool safely this holiday weekend and in the months to come," Kathleen Reilly, Pool Safety Campaign Leader at the CPSC said in a press release. "We want to encourage everyone to remember that simple steps save lives."

The CPSC is encouraging parents to check out its PoolSafely.gov website, which offers tips for preventing accidents, performing CPR and teaching kids how to swim before the holiday weekend.

The video above goes over all seven steps the CPSC recommends: supervision, fencing, pool and spa covers, alarms, safety drain covers, swimming lessons and CPR. You can find videos that expand on each step on the PoolSafely website as well.

Here are some of the CPSC’s essential tips for pooling safely this Fourth of July:

  • Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa and always watch your child when he or she is in or near water.
  • Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments.
  • Install a four-foot or taller fence around the pool and spa and use self-closing and self-latching gates; ask your neighbors to do the same at their pools.
  • Have a telephone close by when you or your family is using a pool or spa.
  • Share safety instructions with family, friends and neighbors.

Many families use neighborhood pools for their water activities, so they should make sure these pools follow the safety standards outlined in a separate section of the CPSC’s site.