Drowning and Non-Fatal Submersion
Other families experience close calls when a child has a submersion incident or near-drowning and requires emergency room attention or hospitalization. Some children are permanently brain damaged by these incidents.
The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act was designed to reduce deaths and submersion injuries by requiring public pools and spas to install new safety drain covers and other safety devices in certain circumstances. In addition, the P&SS Act calls for a public education and information campaign for consumers and industry professionals to raise awareness about drowning and entrapment prevention and to make sure all public pools and spas are compliant with the P&SS Act.
According to the CPSC 2010 Pool and Spa Submersion Report: Estimated Injuries and Reported Fatalities:
- Seventy-seven percent of reported fatalities were children younger than 5 years of age
- The overwhelming majority of the reported deaths happened in pools
- Eighty-four percent of fatalities of children less than 5 years of age occurred in residential locations
- Roughly two-thirds of fatalities are boys under the age of 15
- Children between the ages of 12 to 35 months represented 53 percent of the 2005 – 2007 reported fatalities for children younger than 15
Key data about non-fatal submersion injuries:
- The overwhelming majority of the estimated submersion injuries annually between 2007 and 2009 were in pools
- Roughly two-thirds of submersion injuries involve boys
- Children between the ages of 12 and 35 months represented 47 percent of estimated injuries between 2007 and 2009
- Thirty-eight percent of children between the ages of 5 and 14 were admitted to the hospital compared to 31 percent of children younger than 5 years of age
- Approximately 54 percent of the estimated injuries between 2007 and 2009, involving children younger than 15, occurred at a home pool or spa
Practicing water safety steps in public and residential pools and spas could significantly reduce the number of children who are injured in non-fatal submersions or who drown every year.
The Pool Safely campaign is designed to alert consumers and industry professionals to the numerous water safety steps that can be adopted to significantly reduce the number of child drowning deaths and submersion injuries that occur each year in the United States.