The July Fourth holiday is synonymous with red, white and blue and the chance to celebrate America’s patriotic heritage with a backyard barbeque or summer party that is likely to be located near water to provide respite from the hot summer weather.
However, as Pool Safely and so many families know, it only takes a few seconds for a fun event to turn into a tragedy. That’s why it is so critical that all parents and children follow a few simple steps to stay safer when spending time in or near the water this holiday weekend.
Media reports and data from the USA Swimming Foundation show that, on average, 17 children fatally drown in a swimming pool or spa every year during the week of the July Fourth holiday. *
“While the Independence Day holiday is a time to celebrate our freedoms with friends and family, these celebrations often take place in and around the water, which can turn tragic very quickly,” said CPSC Acting Chair Ann Marie Buerkle. “I want to remind all families to take the simple water safety steps that can make a big difference during the holiday week and all summer: designate an adult water watcher when your kids are in and around the water, ensure that your pool is surrounded by a four-sided fence with a self-closing, self-latching gate, teach your kids to stay away from drains in the pool and spa and teach your children how to swim – it’s a lifesaving skill.”
Before you begin your holiday party and travel planning, Pledge to stay safer in and around the water to stop the preventable tragedy of drowning.
*Data compiled from media reports by the USA Swimming Foundation on fatal child drownings in pools and spas during the week of July 4th (June 30 through July 6). In 2014, the USA Swimming Foundation reported at least 21 fatal drownings involving children younger than 15 during the week of Independence Day; the data showed at least 10 fatal drownings during the same week in 2015; and 20 drownings during the same week in 2016.