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Swimming Pool Dangers And What To Know

Summertime is a great time to enjoy time off, the outdoors, water-sports and swimming pools. With summer quickly approaching, many parents and pool-goers might be wondering about swimming pool related injuries and how to prevent them from happening. Here are some important tips and info about swimming pools and how to keep yourself and your children safe.
Swimming Pool Safety Blog

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), nearly 400 children under the age of 15 die every year due to drowning in pools and spas. There are approximately 6,400 non-fatal drowning injuries that occur each year in the same age group. Drowning is the leading cause of death in children. Here are some staggering statistics:

  • From 2015-2017, 73 percent nonfatal swimming pool injuries involved children younger than 5
  • Males younger than 15 were twice as likely to be involved in a fatal drowning than females
  • Almost 6500 children younger than 15 years old were treated for pool injuries from 2015-2017
  • 74 percent of fatal pool accidents occured at residential locations
  • 67 percent of swimming pool drowning deaths involved children younger than 3 years old.
  • In 2021, 25 infants and children in Louisiana drowned.
  • A whopping 75 percent of drowning deaths of children younger than 15 occurred at a swimming pool located at a private residence (home pool, neighbor’s pool).
  • 17 percent of swimming pool-related drowning deaths among children younger than 15 happened in an above-ground pool.
  • 9 percent of those pediatric drowning deaths occurred in portable pools.

What Is Drowning?

The definition of drowning, which can be found on the World Health Organization’s website, is the process of experiencing respiratory impairment from submersion/immersion in liquid.

It’s important to know that drowning is not always fatal. 


Happens when the drowning results in death. 

  • More children ages 1–4 die from drowning than any other cause of death.
  • For children ages 5–14, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death after motor vehicle crashes.


Happens when a person survives a drowning incident. Nonfatal drowning has a range of outcomes, from no injuries to very serious injuries such as brain damage or permanent disability.

  • For every child under age 18 who dies from drowning, another 7 receive emergency department care for nonfatal drowning.
  • Nearly 40% of drownings treated in emergency departments require hospitalization or transfer for further care (compared with 10% for all unintentional injuries).

Who's At Higher Risk For Drowning?


Children ages 1–4 have the highest drowning rates. Drowning can happen even when children are not expected to be near water, such as when they gain unsupervised access to pools.


Nearly 80% of people who die from drowning are male. Many factors contribute to higher rates of drowning among males, including increased exposure to water and risk-taking behaviors


In swimming pools, black children ages 10-14 years drown at rates 7.6 times higher than white children. Black children and youth are more likely to drown in public pools, and white children and youth are more likely to drown in residential pools. In natural water, American Indian or Alaska Native people have the highest drowning death rates, with rates 2.7 times higher. 


People with seizure disorders such as epilepsy are at a higher risk of fatal and nonfatal drowning than the general population. Drowning is the most common cause of unintentional injury death, with the bathtub being the most common site of drowning, for people with seizure disorders. Other conditions such as autism and heart conditions are associated with a higher risk of drowning.

Swimming Pool Safety Tips:

  • Never leave a child unattended in or near water, and always designate an adult to watch the water. This person should not be reading, texting, using a phone or being otherwise distracted. 
  • If you own a pool or spa, install layers of protection, including barriers to prevent an unsupervised child from accessing the water. Homes can use door alarms, pool covers, and self-closing, self-latching devices on fence gates and doors that access pools.
  • Learn how to perform CPR on children and adults. Click here to register for a CPR class through The University of Louisiana Lafayette’s Recreational Sports division.
  • Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim. Swim lessons are taught at many places throughout Lafayette. Here are just a few: Crawfish Aquatics, COLA Swimming, Red Lerille’s Health Club.   
  • 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. If you do not know, ask your pool service provider about safer drain covers.


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