A slew of child drownings in Minnesota highlights a nationwide spike in pool and spa drownings as more people get in the water this summer. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released a new report showing that drowning remains the leading cause of unintentional death among children ages one to four. According to data from the CPSC, there were 397 pool and spa drowning deaths reported among children younger than 15 between 2016 and 2018. Three-quarters of the deaths reported involved children younger than five and 83 percent occurred at residential pools.
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High Number of Child Drownings Call for Increased Pool Safety Measures
With swimming lessons postponed and an increase in residential pool installations during the pandemic, safety experts fear that child drownings will continue to increase this summer. The CPSC recommends the following safety tips to keep children safe in and around the water.
- Never leave a child unsupervised and always designate an adult water watcher
- Install layers of barriers around at-home pools and spas including door alarms, pool covers, and self-closing/latching devices on doors and gates
- Learn how to perform CPR
- Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim
- Keep children away from pool drains, pipes, and other openings to prevent entrapment
- Before you use a pool or spa, make sure the drain covers comply with federal safety standards
Minnesota lawmakers are pushing for a water safety grant bill that will help more at-risk and low-income children learn to swim. Community groups have also proposed a new community fitness center in North Minneapolis that will offer swim lessons for kids and parents.
Recent Child Drownings in Minnesota
12-Year-Old Boy Dies After Drowning in Pool at Minneapolis North Commons Water Park
A twelve-year-old boy died after drowning in the swimming pool at North Commons Water Park in north Minneapolis. At about 5 p.m. on Friday, June 5, he was spotted at the bottom of the pool by a witness who called the police. A park police officer pulled him out of the water and began CPR before he was transferred to Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC), where he later died.
Nine-Year-Old Boy Dies After Drowning in Pool at Spring Lake Park Swim Facility in North Mankato
A nine-year-old boy died after drowning in the pool at Spring Lake Park Swim Facility in North Mankato. Shortly before the pool’s closing time on Saturday, June 6, Abdirahman Abdullahi was found unresponsive in the deep end of the pool. Lifeguards had removed him from the water and began CPR by the time emergency responders arrived. Abdullahi was taken to Mayo Clinic Health System Mankato, where his death was confirmed.
Four-Year-Old Boy Dies After Drowning at Best Western Normandy Inn and Suites Pool
After days of hospitalization, a four-year-old boy died from drowning in the pool at Best Western Normandy Inn and Suites in Minneapolis. First responders arrived at the scene at 405 Eighth Street South around 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 20. The boy was unresponsive after they removed him from the pool and began CPR. He was rushed to HCMC, where he later died.