Recreation Management Rec Report - The Newsletter for Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facility Managers

Feature Story

June 2021


Child Drownings Remain High

The annual drowning and submersion report released by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reminds families to make water safety a priority, particularly as they return to community pools and resume warm-weather activities near water. Child drownings remain the leading cause of unintentional death among children ages 1 to 4 years old.

CPSC's latest data show:

  • An increase in pool-or-spa-related fatal drowning incidents among children younger than 15.
  • On average, there were 397 reported pool-or-spa-related fatal drownings per year for 2016 through 2018 involving children younger than 15 years of age.
  • 75% of the reported fatal drownings from 2016 through 2018 involved children younger than 5—83% of these were at residential pools.

"As we enter the summer months, parents and caregivers must be mindful of the pandemic's impact on their children's swimming ability and water safety skills," said CPSC Acting Chairman Robert Adler. "CPSC's latest report confirms that most child drownings involve children under the age of 5, whose limited experience around the water due to recent social distancing restrictions could put them at greater risk of drowning. With fewer children attending swimming lessons during the past year, it is critical to refresh these and other life-saving skills, while practicing increased vigilance both anywhere children are swimming and during non-swim times as well."

While the report shows that the number of pool-or-spa-related hospital emergency department-treated nonfatal drowning injuries decreased from 2019 (6,300 injuries) to 2020 (5,800 injuries), CPSC advises that the changes are not statistically significant. From 2018 to 2020, 78% of nonfatal drowning injuries occurred among children younger than 5 years old.

The lower number of drownings is likely the result of limitations on summer activities—including group or public swimming—due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information on drowning and entrapment prevention, visit www.poolsafely.gov.


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$150 Million in Grants Will Create Parks, Expand Recreation Opportunities - May 2021

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ULI Report: Pandemic Led to Innovation in the Public Realm - April 2021

Nation's Pediatricians Provide New Guidance on Summer Camp Safety - April 2021

Grants Invest in Community Trail Projects - March 2021

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USA Swimming Distributes Community Impact Grants - March 2021

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CDC Study Examines Successful Overnight Camp Strategies from 2020 - September 2020

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USA Swimming Waives Swim-a-Thon Fees Through 2021 - August 2020

ACE Urges Congress to Pass COVID-19 Youth Sports & Health Working Families Relief Act - August 2020

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Congress Nears Full, Permanent Funding of LWCF - June 2020

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NFHS Offers Guidance on Restarting High School Athletics, Activities - June 2020

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