According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), African American children between the ages of 5 and 14 are three times more likely to drown than white children of the same age range. Meanwhile, research by the USA Swimming Foundation indicates that up to 70 percent of African American and Hispanic children cannot swim.
In its report (2012 Annual Submersion and Entrapment Reports), the CPSC has found that:
- An annual average of 390 pool- and spa-related deaths involving children younger than 15 were reported from 2007 to 2009. About 73 percent of those deaths occurred at a residential location, and three-quarters of the reported deaths involved children under the age of 5.
- Of the estimated annual average of 5,200 pool- or spa-related injuries involving children younger than 15 from 2009 through 2011, approximately 51 percent occurred at a residential location.
- Portable pools accounted for an annual average of 40 deaths involving children younger than 15.
- Children between the ages of 1 and 3 represented 66 percent of the estimated injuries for 2009 through 2011 and 67 percent of the reported fatalities for 2007 through 2009.
- No deaths caused by entrapment, when the suction in a pool or hot tub traps a swimmer underwater, were reported in 2011. Seven entrapment injuries were reported last year.
According to the report, more than half of the reported deaths involving children under the age of 5 could be attributed to a lapse in adult supervision. Also, more boys were treated for pool- or spa-related injuries than girls.