KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — New data related to child drownings in the United States has been released by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), showing the ongoing effects of limited availability of water safety resources during the pandemic.

According to the CPSC annual drowning and submersion report, released June 9, fatal and nonfatal drowning injuries among children under the age of 15 remain high; drowning also continues to be a leading cause of unintentional death among younger children ages 1 to 4 years old.

The report found that between the years 2019-2021, on average, 80% of children treated in emergency departments at medical facilities for pool or spa-related, nonfatal drowning injuries were younger than 5 years old; while 73% of those nonfatal drowning incidents occurred at a residence compared to 27% that occurred in a public location.

Other highlights shared by CPSC include:

  • Across 2017 through 2019, there were an average of 389 pool- or spa-related, fatal drownings reported per year involving children younger than 15 years of age.
  • Pool- or spa-related, hospital department-treated, nonfatal drowning injuries involving children younger than 15 years of age spiked 17% in 2021 with 6,800 injuries reported, compared to 2020 with 5,800.
  • Of the reported pool- or spa-related fatal child drownings, seventy-three percent involved children younger than 5 years of age.

“Child drowning rates and nonfatal drowning injuries among children under 15 years old remain high, and water safety vigilance is as important as ever this summer for parents and caregivers,” said Alex Hoehn-Saric, CPSC chair. “Whether a child is playing in a community pool, a neighbor’s pool, or your own, we urge parents and caregivers to prepare their children for water-related activities by reviewing ‘Pool Safely’ tips and signing up for swim lessons this summer. Working together, we can help reduce pool- and spa-related fatalities.”

The full report can be viewed below:

There are $2 million in grants available for qualifying jurisdictions to receive for pool safety. The CPSC is currently seeking applications for is Pool Safety Grant Program in order to assist state and local governments in reducing deaths and injuries from drowning. More information about the grant program can be found on the CPSC’s Pool Safely website.