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Two Metro Area Toddlers Drown; Tips for Pool Safety

Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death among children 1 to 4 years of age and it is the second leading cause of death for children from 5 to 14 years old.

From Memorial Day through Labor Day 2013, at least 202 children between the ages of 1 and 14 drowned in a swimming pool or spa in the United States, according to media reports compiled by the USA Swimming Foundation. Credit: Patch file
From Memorial Day through Labor Day 2013, at least 202 children between the ages of 1 and 14 drowned in a swimming pool or spa in the United States, according to media reports compiled by the USA Swimming Foundation. Credit: Patch file
Patch Staff Report

The month of May was only a couple of days old before a second tragic pool drowning occurred in the metro Atlanta area.

On April 30, a 16-month-old child died in a drowning incident in a residential pool in Hall County.

Two days later, a 4-year-old girl accidentally drowned during a neighborhood event at the Ansley Golf Club pool in Midtown.

With summer approaching and families ready to enjoy their time together in pools all over metro Atlanta and beyond, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is providing parents with some tips to help keep kids safe in the water.

“Child drownings are a preventable tragedy, so we encourage all families who are planning to spend time in pools and spas all summer to adopt as many safety steps as possible," CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum said in a statement.

From Memorial Day through Labor Day 2013, at least 202 children between the ages of 1 and 14 drowned in a swimming pool or spa in the United States, according to media reports compiled by the USA Swimming Foundation. Of those, 143 of the victims were children younger than age 5.

The latest media-reported figures are consistent with the CPSC's annual Submersion Report, and show that young children and toddlers are especially vulnerable to drowning. Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death among children 1 to 4 years of age and it is the second leading cause of death for children from 5 to 14 years old.

“The time is now to turn the tide on child drownings,” CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum said in a news release. “In warm weather states and indoor swim parks, pools are still open. Let’s work together to prevent drownings by putting up barriers and having eyes-on supervision of children in and around the water.”

To keep your child safe while in the pool, the CPSC offers these tips:

Staying Close, Being Alert and Watching Children in and Around the Pool

  • Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa and always watch your children closely around all bodies of water
  • Teach children basic water safety tips
  • Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments
  • Have a telephone close by when you or your family are using a pool or spa
  • If a child is missing, look for him or her in the pool or spa first
  • Share safety instructions with family, friends and neighbors

Learning and Practicing Water Safety Skills

  • Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim
  • Learn to perform CPR on children and adults, and update those skills regularly
  • Understand the basics of life-saving so that you can assist in a pool emergency

Having the Appropriate Equipment for Your Pool or Spa

  • Install a four-foot or taller fence around the pool and spa and use self-closing and self-latching gates; ask your neighbors to do the same at their pools
  • Install and use a lockable safety cover on your spa
  • If your house serves as a fourth side of a fence around a pool, install and use a door or pool alarm
  • Maintain pool and spa covers in good working order
  • Ensure any pool and spa you use has drain covers that comply with federal standards, and ask your pool service provider if you do not know
  • Have lifesaving equipment such as life rings, floats or a reaching pole available and easily accessible

For more information visit www.PoolSafely.gov.

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