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Texas Leading Nation in Childhood Drownings

A startling statistic on child drownings, Texas is leading the nation

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Texas Leads The Country In Childhood Drownings

According to new data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the USA Swimming Foundation, at least 37 children ages 15 and under drowned in pools or spas in June, with seven of the deaths occurring in Texas. This is up more than 130 percent from the same period last year, when three drownings were reported in Texas in June 2020. Texas reported 87 drownings for the year of 2020. 40 of those instances or roughly 46% of those of those occured in a swimming pool or spa.

2020 Child Drowning Statistics for the State of Texas – Graphic provided by DFPS

Texas has the largest number (17) of fatal kid drownings in pools and spas recorded by the media in the first half of the year, followed by Florida (16), Arizona (10), and Minnesota (7).

Because drowning is still the biggest cause of unintentional death among children aged 1-4, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Pool Safely Campaign encourages everyone to take simple safety precautions and educate themselves on water safety.

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission has released these guidelines to help caregivers practice water safety and prevent childhood drownings.

  • Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa and always watch your children closely around all bodies of water.
  • Designate a Water Watcher to supervise children in the pool or spa. This person should not be reading, 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 and ask your public pool if their drains are “VGB compliant.”
  • Join the 90,000+ others and take the Pool Safely Pledge before spending time in or near the water.


Families may go to poolsafely.gov for more information on how to stay alert about drowning prevention throughout the year.

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Pool News coverage brought to you by Pool Magazine's own Marcus Packer. Marcus Packer is a 20 year pool industry veteran pool builder and pool service technician. In addition to being a swimming pool professional, Marcus has been a writer and long time contributor for Newsweek Magazine's home improvement section and more recently for Florida Travel + Life. Have a story idea or tip you'd like to share with Pool Magazine? Email mpacker@poolmagazine.com your story idea.

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5 Smart Pool Safety Features That Add Value To An Inground Pool

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5 Pool Safety Features That Add Value To An Inground Pool

Unquestionably, there are certain safety features that add value to any inground pool. For pool buyers who are considering which features to add to their list when shopping for a pool, we’re happy to help get you started. In 2022, there will be a big emphasis on incorporating new technology.

There are more than a few smart safety features that will make your pool and spa a thoroughly more enjoyable experience while at the same time giving you peace of mind. Today, we’re going to discuss the 5 smartest pool safety features you can add to your pool that really add a lot of value.

#1 – Pool Safety Fence

Adding a fence around your pool can help you feel more secure. Installing a pool fence in your backyard might help keep your pool area private from neighbors. People who are self-conscious in their swimsuits or who simply don’t enjoy the idea of their neighbors being able to see them when they are in the water may find this helpful.

Pool Safety Feature - Fencing System

If you install a safety fence around your pool, you can have the added reassurance that the pool area in your backyard will be inaccessible without your permission. These added precautions are especially crucial if you have small children or pets that could easily fall into the swimming pool. Aside from being a useful safety feature, it is becoming mandatory throughout most regions of the country to install a pool safety fence.

According to your insurance policy, you may be eligible for a discount if you install a pool fence and may actually be required by your insurance company in some cases. Typically, a bolted gate is required for a pool fence to qualify.

Homeowners can choose from a wide range of fencing alternatives, including wrought iron bars, wood or vinyl panels, and mesh pool fences that are both durable, tough to climb, and semi-transparent, allowing you to have an unobstructed view of your pool while protecting your family.

#2 – Smart Fence & Pool Alarms

Another added level of safety and security is adding a smart pool alarm. Today’s pool monitoring systems are technologically sophisticated and act as a virtual water watcher that continuously scan the pool area for unauthorized entry as well as detect distress in early stages.

One of the best methods of securing the pool area these days incorporates the usage of smart IoT and AI. Folks are becoming increasingly used to using technology like Alexa and Siri, and forward-thinking homeowners are looking for similar devices that will keep their pool & spa secure.

Pool Safety Feature - AI Powered CamerEye System

Sai Reddy, Founder/CEO of CamerEye, one of the leading smart pool alarm monitoring systems based on Artificial Intelligence (AI); says “The need for a smarter pool fence is obvious. Quite often, homeowners have no idea when small children or pets are in the pool area.”

This statement holds true with the findings of a recent study conducted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) which analyzed drownings in Arizona, California, and Florida among children under the age of four. Nearly 70 percent of the children were located in the pool despite the fact that they were not expected to be there. Of the incidents analyzed, 46 percent had last been seen inside the home.

“The ability to draw an invisible boundary line around the pool area, and have instant notification when a loved one is in distress is a water safety game-changer that will help mitigate these types of tragedies from occurring,” said Reddy.

Camereye- Proximity Alert System

#3 – Pool Safety Covers

Inground pool safety covers can be fixed to the deck so that they can be put on and removed with ease. Rainwater may safely drain through the cover’s dense mesh fabric, while leaves and other debris are kept dry and simply blown away. In addition, they look great around the pool, and can easily last for over a decade. The value proposition of adding a safety cover pays for itself the very first year.

A durable pool safety cover is the best way to protect your family and your investment. (Photo Courtesy of Loop-Loc)
A durable pool safety cover is the best way to protect your family and your investment. (Photo Courtesy of Loop-Loc)

Drowning is the second most common cause of death in children 1 to 4 years old, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Residential swimming pools account for the vast majority of these instances. A lack of installing a barrier to prevent unsupervised entry to the pool is one of the major contributing factors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “most small children who drowned in pools were last seen in the home, had been out of sight less than five minutes, and were in the care of one or both parents at home.”

When there is no adult supervision, a pool safety cover is an effective tool for keeping children out of the water. Safety covers are composed of a heavy-duty mesh or vinyl and cover the entire pool. Some covers can support the weight of a small SUV.

#4 – Safety Ledges

Pool safety ledges are popular in homes with young children or inexperienced swimmers. A safety ledge is typically an 8-inch-wide region which extends from the shallow end all the way around to the deep end.

Pool Safety Ledge - Photo Credit: PoolWarehouse
Pool Safety Ledge – Photo Credit: PoolWarehouse

A conventional swimming pools deep end typically has only one ladder. If someone is swimming on the opposite side of the deep end and and gets tired or is in distress, a pool safety ledge provides them a place to stand while safely catching their breath. If they need to, they can use the ledge to shimmy back to the shallow end.

#5 – Pool Lighting

Aside from being a wonderful way to extend your pool usage into the evening, pool lighting saves lives. One of the easiest ways to make your swimming pool safer is to make sure that you have effective lighting in your pool and spa. Lighting is sometimes overlooked when discussing safety-related products, yet it’s an important part of the mix.

Pool Lighting is a smart safety feature to add to any swimming pool.

Providing swimmers the ability to see where they’re going and how far they can swim or dive before they hit the walls and floor is essential. Being able to easily see into the pool to determine when a swimmer is in distress is an absolute must.

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Many Public Pools Aren’t Passing Health Inspections

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Many Public Pools Aren’t Passing Health Inspections

Although swimming pools are excellent sources of entertainment, these spectacular features require regular maintenance. Maintaining a pool helps you attain crystal clear pool water. Indisputably, commercial or public pools require more maintenance due to frequent usage. Thus, all public pool owners should ensure their pool is safe and clean for use. As a swimmer, you have to ensure that the pool is safe for use. You can do this by checking when last the pool got inspected.

Many Public Pools Aren’t Passing Health Inspections

Generally, local authorities close thousands of pools that don’t meet all safety and health regulations every year. Based on previous statistics, more than 75% of public pools violated one or two safety measures issued by the state. Therefore, it is essential to keep your pool in good shape. Request for frequent inspections by your local authorities before the situation gets out of hand.

Cryptosporidium

Over the years, swimming pools have become a major cause of diseases. Swimming pools often contain a harmful parasite called cryptosporidium. Cryptosporidium can survive in swimming pools even in the presence of chlorine. Luckily, there are specific techniques you can incorporate to get rid of this harmful parasite in your pool.

Removal of Cryptosporidium

One of the best ways to removing cryptosporidium is to foster maximum filtration. Nevertheless, note that you cannot get rid of these harmful parasites in one filtration. It would be best if you kept passing the pool water through the filter severally.

Also, as you do this, consider closing the pool until you filter all the water present in the pool. Ultraviolet pool sanitation systems are usually ideal in removing these harmful parasites. Conducting a pool shock also goes a long way in removing cryptosporidium.

Outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis

Cryptosporidium is the pathogen responsible for causing cryptosporidiosis. This harmful parasite is the leading cause of diarrhea connected to swimming pools. Although you can get cryptosporidiosis in other settings like farms, swimming in infected pools is common.

Preventing cryptosporidiosis

As public pool owners, it is essential to inform swimmers to avoid swimming if they have diarrhea. Also, swimmers should avoid swimming if they had diarrhea in the last 48 hours. Failure to do this would only lead to an increase in cryptosporidium in your pool. Advise them to come back when their symptoms stop for the safety of everyone.

Other safety measures you need to observe in the pool include:

  • Advise parents to take their children to the toilet before they start swimming. Also, parents should consider giving their children frequent toilet breaks to prevent them from contaminating the pool.
  • For small children, parents should use swimming diapers to prevent fecal leakages into the pool. Additionally, parents should wash their hands after changing the baby’s diapers. They should also dispose of their baby’s diapers appropriately.
  • As a public pool owner, it would be best to formulate a strategy for handling fecal accidents that occur in your swimming pool.

Note that cryptosporidium is more common in shallow pools. Thus, ensure you observe maximum hygiene if you have a shallow pool. You can also reduce the risk of contamination by making sure your pool contractor observes all pool construction guidelines.

Water Main Contimation

Water companies report that at times, cryptosporidium may get into the water without their knowledge. Therefore, they advise boiling water before use or using an effective disinfectant agent to sanitize the water. If you are a pool owner, use the right sanitizing chemicals to kill all microorganisms in the pool water. Nevertheless, ensure you get advice from your water supplier on how to sanitize your pool water.

According to a previous survey done in 2013, the most cryptosporidium-contaminated swimming pools in Arizona, New York, and California were baby pools. The local authorities of the respective areas ordered the closure of these swimming pools. The most common problems were inaccurate water chemistry, less safety equipment, and low chlorine levels when inspecting these swimming pools. Note that low chlorine levels and high pH are usually connected. So, your pool might be having low chlorine levels due to high pH. A good percentage of pools violated pool safety regulations. Even worse, some of these violations were not minor.

Associate Director for Healthy Water, Michael Beach, says that these results are incredibly concerning. He says that all pool professionals should do their best to protect the public. On the flip side, swimmers should ensure the pool receives regular pool inspections from time to time.

The bottom line

It is sad to know that many public pools are not passing health inspections. As a result, most public pools are not safe for swimmers. All pool owners should ensure their pools undergo a frequent pool inspection. This way, they’ll keep their pool in good condition. Swimmers, on the other hand, should confirm whether the public pool is free from contaminants. Additionally, they should practice maximum hygiene while swimming in the pool.

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Safety

2022 National Water Safety Conference

September 30th is your last chance to submit a presentation for the 2022 National Water Safety Conference

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NDPA - 2022 National Water Safety Conference

The 2022 National Water Safety Conference will take place April 11-14, 2022 in-person at the Worthington Renaissance Hotel in Fort Worth, TX and online at watersafetyconference.com.

This is your opportunity to view incredible speakers, live sessions, trainings, seminars, town hall meetings, and interactive Q&A sessions with actual professionals.

You’ll have the chance to connect with water safety suppliers, vendors, and Families United to Prevent Drowning members through the Virtual Exhibit Hall. Participate in the fun for a chance to win prizes and contests.

National Water Safety Conference - Presented by NDPA - National Drowning Prevention Alliance

Virtual Exhibitors:

Last Chance to Submit Presentations for 2022 National Water Safety Conference

Applications for conference speakers are due September 30, 2021. By October 15, 2021, the selected Speaker will be notified.

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