As the summer heat continues in Illinois, pools are a favorite destination for many to cool off. It's important to follow all posted rules and pay attention to any children when around bodies of water. The number of pools installed in backyards drastically increased last year due to the pandemic. Installing a pool means adults need to be extra vigilant to protect any children who have access to the water. It is also essential to take the proper steps to keep pools secured and restrict access to prevent injuries and drownings from occurring.
According to the American Red Cross, 69% of young children who are found drowned or submerged in swimming pools were not expected to be in or at the pool. On average, 379 fatal child drownings occurred per year between 2015 and 2017. Children younger than five years old accounted for 75 percent of these drownings, 56 percent of which were attributed to a lapse in adult supervision. Of the reported fatal drowning incidents, 71 percent occurred in residential locations, such as a child's home, a family or friend's house, or a neighbor's residence according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Each day, approximately two children less than 15 years old die from drowning. Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death for children 1-4 years old according to the CDC. Pool chemicals, like chlorine, are needed to protect swimmers' health. However, mishandling pool chemicals can cause serious injuries. Pool chemicals injuries lead to about 4,500 U.S. emergency department visits each year, and over one-third of these preventable injuries are in children or teens.