Ones For Wellness: Drownings Remain Leading Cause Of 'Unintentional Death' Among Youngest Children

New numbers from the Consumer Product Safety Commission show drownings remain the leading cause of unintentional death among children between the ages of 1 and 4.v

Video Transcript

- A reminder for parents this afternoon to keep a close eye on the kiddos during the summer swim season. New numbers from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission released today show that drownings remain the leading cause of unintentional death among children between the ages of one and four. The steps to keep your kids safe in today's Ones for Wellness.

After a year of lockdown, Nikki Fleming with CPSC expects people are ready to pack the pools.

NIKKI FLEMING: We definitely want parents to be mindful of the fact that we've lost several months of water safety skills, swim lessons, pools being closed. And now they're reopening as the summer months are here.

- And that lost training can have deadly consequences. The newest data from CPSC shows an increase in pool or spa related drownings among children younger than 15. I feel like a lot of times we think, oh, that can ever happen to me. That can ever happen to my family. How common is this?

NIKKI FLEMING: It is happening, unfortunately, every day.

- On average, there were 397 pool or spa drownings per year in children under 15 from 2016 to 2018. 75% of those involve children under the age of five, and 83% happened at residential pools.

CHELSEA MILLER: Because of the pandemic last year, we actually saw a record number of pool purchases. So a lot of people had home pools installed. And so because of that, we're hoping not, but we expect that we might see an increase in the home pool drownings again this year.

- Chelsea Miller with the Fort Worth Drowning Prevention Coalition says it's key for new pool owners to make sure the kids know how to swim. Also, secure the area around the pool, so little ones don't accidentally fall in. Use door alarms, pool covers, and fencing with gates. And when the family is out to play, always designate one adult to watch the kids in the water.

CHELSEA MILLER: Anybody can drown. Even good swimmers drown. Young people drown. Adults drown. So just make sure that you're paying really close attention, that you're having as many layers of protection as you can around water.

- Now, the CPSC also recommends learning CPR. It can absolutely be lifesaving. And keep children away from pool drains, pipes, and other openings where they could get trapped. For more information, and for links to resources for things like lessons, you can head to our website