Summer time Means More Swimming, Increased Drowning Risks at Public Pools

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

A Chicago area family is grieving the recent drowning death of four-year old Vicente Cardenas. The little boy perished after going unnoticed into the Roosevelt Outdoor Pool in Glenview, Illinois. His family seeks answers about why he was not observed by the daycare providers he was with or the pool staff on duty. 

Drowning is not among the most common daycare injuries

: broken bones, lacerations, and even sunburn become more common as the summer goes on. Though a drowning at daycare is a rare occurrence, this incident works as a reminder about the dangers of children around water. Pool related accidents are one of the leading causes of death and injuries to children. As often as the reminders go out from officials and news organizations, the summer always proves to be deadly time for children. 

When such an incident occurs at a private home, there is often no one who can take responsibility but the child’s parents. But what about when a public, school, or neighbor’s pool is involved and parents have allowed another guardian to ensure the safety of their child? What about when a drowning occurs at a resort or summer camp? There is a reasonable expectation that young people will be kept safe and especially robust attention will be paid to young children. 

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of injury or death for children between one and four years old; three children die every day in the nation as the result of drowning. Most of these deaths occur in the warm weather months of May through August. In a particularly warm summer, like the current one, such deaths may increase unless responsible guardians are diligent in their duties.  

Death is not the only tragic outcome from drowning either. There are untold children who suffer lifelong brain injury that may alter the course of their lives. While most pool related tragedies occur at home, many of them occur at apartment complex pools, community pools, and neighbors’ homes. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that 47% of pool related injuries occur away from a child’s home. Wherever they are, children will be attracted to pools and tragedy may result. Vicente Cardenas’ death, unfortunately, will not be the last child drowning reported this summer. 


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