Drowning Prevention

Experts in the field of aquatics safety will join children’s safety advocates in Colorado Springs, Colo., for the 10th Annual National Drowning Prevention Symposium April 14 and 15.

“Symposium attendees exchange best practices, engage in international networking and participate in hands-on activities,” said Sue Nelson, event chairperson and aquatic specialist with host USA Swimming Foundation.

“This empowers them to create effective drowning-prevention education programs in their communities.”

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman Inez Tenenbaum will give the opening keynote address.

"We all share a common commitment to children's safety, and by spreading the word about drowning prevention, we will hopefully save lives and prevent injuries,” Tenenbaum said.

The Pool Safely campaign aims to reduce childhood drownings and prevent drain entrapments through public education, training programs and strategic partnerships.

National Drowning Prevention Alliance board member Beverly Payton, an independent public relations consultant, and Kristin Goffman, a public safety consultant, will present information about the alliance's federally funded program that complements the safety commission's Pool Safely campaign.

Both the CPSC and NDPA promote taking extra safety steps in and around swimming pools and spas. Parents and pool owners are encouraged to download the free resource, "Layers of Protection,‟ at www.ndpa.org and to visit http://www.poolsafely.gov/ for safety tips, informational videos and children‟s games and activities.

Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death to children nationally. The CPSC estimates each year about 300 children younger than 5 drown in swimming pools and spas and more than 4,200 children under the age of 15 go to hospital emergency rooms due to non-fatal submersions injuries. Many suffer permanent brain damage.

More than three-quarters of the emergency room cases involve children younger than 5.