BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A tragedy for country music star Granger Smith’s family has brought fatal drownings back to the front page recently. Smith’s son River Kelly Smith, 3, died due a drowning accident at their home.
A report released by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) highlights drownings as the leading cause of unintentional death among children 1–4 years of age. According to the report, June has been determined to be the deadliest month with the highest fatality incident rate. Residential locations made up 72 percent of those reported fatal drowning incidents.
From 2016 through 2018 the CPSC identified an estimated 6,600 pool-or-spa related, hospital emergency department treated, nonfatal drowning injuries each year. Data collected from 2014 through 2016 show fatal incident rates spiked in 2016 with 389 reported fatalities involving children younger than 15, 74 percent of which involved children younger than 5.
The CPSC urges families remain vigilant and practice water safety anytime they are in or around water by remembering the following tips.
- Install a four-sided fence with a self-closing, self-latching gate around all pools and spas.
- Designate a “Water Watcher” to supervise children at all times around the water. This person should not be reading, texting, using a smart phone or be otherwise distracted.
- Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim.
- Learn how to perform CPR on children and adults.
- 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 and if you do not know, ask your pool service provider about safe drain covers.