Fort Worth, Texas,
07
June
2019
|
10:44 PM
America/Chicago

National Report Says Drownings on The Rise, June Is Most Dangerous Month

Consumer Product Safety Commission Looks at Pool Safety

In the midst of country singer Granger Smith and his wife Amber sharing the news of their 3-year-old son’s River’s tragic accident, a new national report shows that drownings among young children are on the rise.

Smith, a Dallas native, wrote about the unthinkable news on his Twitter and Instagram account. It was later confirmed by the singer’s representatives that his son had died due to a drowning accident at home.

“Amber and I made the decision to say our last goodbyes and donate his organs so that other children will be given a second chance at life,” Smith wrote.

The news came on the same day that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission released their report that shows:

  • A 10% increase in fatal child drownings over the past two years.
  • Almost three-fourths of the drownings (74%) involved children younger than 5.
  • An average of 363 pool-or-spa related fatal child drownings were reported per year for 2014 through 2016, involving children younger than 15. The highest number of drownings occured in 2016 with 389 reported fatalities.
  • On average, an estimated, 6,600 pool-or-spa related, non-fatal drowning injuries were treated at a hospital emergency department treated each year for 2016 through 2018.

The data identified June as the month with the highest fatality incident rate and that residential locations made up most (72%) of reported fatal drowning incidents. In June 2018 at Cook Children’s, 16 children were treated for drownings, with three being fatal.

"Our data shows us who is drowning and when and where these fatal drownings are happening – children, in the summer, at residential locations," said Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle. "This report underscores the need for all families to stay vigilant and practice water safety anytime they are in or around the water."

None of the statistics surprised Corwin Warmink, M.D., medical director of Emergency Services at Cook Children's.

“This is not anything new. We live in Texas and we see this all the time. There are lots of pools and lakes here. It’s just water and children don’t mix without adult supervision and children wearing their lifejackets all times around the water,” Dr. Warmink said. “For us in the Emergency Department, it’s just sad because this is something that’s totally preventable.”

The safety commission’s recommendations to keep children safer in and around the water mirror the suggestions from Cook Children’s experts, including:

  • Install a four-sided fence with a self-closing, self-latching gate around all pools and spas.
  • Designate a Water Watcher to supervise children at all times around the water. This person should not be reading, texting, using a smart phone or be otherwise distracted. Water Watcher tags are available at Cook Children' to any person or group who will use them or would like to distribute them. To receive a Water Watcher Tag, email safe.kids@cookchildrens.org. 
  • Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim.
  • Learn how to perform CPR on children and adults.
  • Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments.
  • 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.

Lifeguard Your Child

Water safety is important at any age. When it comes to drowning, seconds count. It’s silent and can happen in an instant. Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children ages 1 to 4, and the second leading cause for kids 1-14 in Texas. But with your help, we can change that.

We encourage you to create a safety plan for ANY time your children are around water, whether its swim time, unplanned time around the water or even bath time. Click here to learn more about the program.

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