Parents can help prevent drownings of young kids

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ALEXANDRIA (KALB) – As we enter summer swim season, new reports from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) detail the number of fatal drownings and drain entrapments in swimming pools and spas involving children younger than 5 – the most vulnerable population to fatal drownings.

According to the report, June has been determined to be the deadliest month with the highest fatality incident rate. Residential locations made up 72 percent of those reported fatal drowning incidents.

From 2016 through 2018 the CPSC identified an estimated 6,600 pool-or-spa related, hospital emergency department treated, nonfatal drowning injuries each year. Data collected from 2014 through 2016 show fatal incident rates spiked in 2016 with 389 reported fatalities involving children younger than 15, 74 percent of which involved children younger than 5.

The CPSC urges families remain vigilant and practice water safety anytime they are in or around water by remembering the following tips.

· Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa, and always watch your children closely around all bodies of water;
· Designate a water watcher to supervise children in the pool or spa. This person should not be reading, texting, using a smart phone, or otherwise distracted;
· Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim;
· Learn how to perform CPR on children and adults;
· Install layers of protection, including a 4-foot fence, with a self-latching, self-closing gate, that surrounds the entire pool, along with a pool/spa cover and an alarm;
· Keep children away from pool drains, pipes, and other openings to avoid entrapments; and
· Ensure any pool and spa you use has drain covers that comply with federal safety standards, and, if you do not know, ask your pool service provider about safe drain covers.

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