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Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Child Safety: Drowning Prevention in Pools and Hot Tubs
Most childhood drownings occur in swimming pools. When visiting public or private pools, make sure that your children are supervised
closely and that they are familiar with pool safety rules.
If you have a pool
at your home, use these tips to help prevent drowning tragedies:1
Hot tubs and spas often are an overlooked drowning danger for
children. Drowning can result from unintentional falls into the water, from
hair that becomes tangled in drains or jets, or from body parts becoming
Consider keeping hot tubs and spas off-limits to young children. Talk
to your doctor before allowing children younger than age 5 to use
If you allow children in a hot tub or spa, prevent a drowning
incident by taking proper precautions and talking to your children about
potential hazards. The following recommendations can help protect your children
from an accident or drowning related to hot tubs and spas:2
If you have a pool or hot tub where you live, find out if the drains and other parts meet current safety standards. Check with the place where you bought the pool or hot tub, or ask a pool operator.
The CDC Healthy Swimming website provides tips and fact sheets to help people reduce the chances of getting an illness from swimming in recreational waters such as lakes, rivers, swimming pools, and oceans. CDC's Healthy Swimming program also provides resources to raise awareness about recreational water illnesses (RWIs) and how to prevent them by practicing "Healthy Swimming" behaviors.
This U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website has information about pool and spa safety, drowning prevention, and more. The website includes interactive activities for kids.
Consumer Product Safety Commission (accessed August 2012). Backyard pool: Always supervise children, Safety Commission warns. CPSC Document No. 5097. Available online: http://cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/5097.html.
Safe Kids USA (accessed August 2012). Pool and hot tub tips. Available online:
Other Works Consulted
American Academy of Pediatrics (accessed August 2012). Pool safety for children. The Injury Prevention Program (TIPP). Available online: http://www.aap.org/family/tipppool.htm.
November 26, 2012
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Thomas Emmett Francoeur, MD, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics
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