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Backyard pools responsible for majority of child drowning

Before people begin enjoying their pools this summer, they should take the time to make sure that they have taken proper safety precautions to protect children on their property. It could not only protect them from a potential personal injury or premises liability suit, it could also save a life.

According to a new report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the vast majority of all pool submersion deaths and injuries in the U.S. – 75 and 78 percent, respectively – involve children 15 years of age and younger. The CPSC data also indicates that Hispanic and African American children are at far higher risk of drowning than white children.

According to the CPSC study, younger children are particularly vulnerable to injuries in swimming pools. Sixty seven percent of reported drowning deaths and 64 percent of injuries involved children between the ages of one and three. 

Far fewer accidents occur at public pools than at residential pools: 85 percent of all reported deaths among children occurred at residential pools or spas. About 60 percent of all reported injuries and deaths occurred in in-ground pools, while 15 percent and approximately 10 percent occurred in above-ground and portable pools, respectively.

Property owners with pools can take some steps to child-proof their pools, such as putting up a fence with a lock that is hard for children to reach. Parents, too, can take steps to help their children stay safe. One of the most important things that parents can do is to make sure their children know how to swim.

Source: Clarksville Online, “U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission data shows most child drowning occur in backyard pools,” June 10, 2013

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