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CPSC Issues Swimming Pool Safety Tips.

NEWS from CPSC U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Aug 74) -- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission today warned that almost 50,000 persons will require hospital emergency room treatment this year in accidents associated with some of the nation's four million swimming pools.

Residential in-ground pools now number about one million and home above-ground pools are estimated at three million, according to the National Swimming Pool Institute. The Institute also states there are about 340,300 in-ground pools in hotels, motels, apartments, parks and public facilities, schools, clubs and camps.

Commission injury statistics indicate that 39,500 persons, annually will seek hospital emergency room care for injuries involving below-ground pools; about 10,000 will need treatment for injuries related to above-ground pools. Seventy-five per cent of the injured will involve persons 19 and under, and almost twice as many boys as girls will be hurt.

The National Safety Council reports that 600 children and adults drown annually in swimming pools, 330 in home pools.

Swimming alone or without adult supervision leads to many drownings. Each year, headlines note the deaths of infants and children who tumble into pools and drown because a gate was left open or they otherwise were able to gain access to a pool when no one was around to save them.

Many severe injuries result from falling on slippery walkways and decks and falling from diving boards and ladders. Diving and jumping into shallow water also are major causes of serious injuries.

Although many pool accidents are related to running and roughhousing, numerous injuries also are attributed to the pool, its accessories and general environment.

The severity of injuries associated with swimming pool water slides-- permanent disabilities for some adults and children who went head first down the slide and struck the bottom of the pool-- led to a Commission decision in June to commence a proceeding to develop a mandatory safety standard or slides.

The Commission also is considering a variety of approaches that could reduce injuries associated with other pool hazards such as sharp edges and protruding bolts, slippery ladders, decks and diving boards, lack of depth indicators, shock hazards from electrical wiring and problems of exploding filter tanks.

Commission staff recommend a number of precautionary measures consumers can take to reduce home pool hazards.

Construction and maintenance:


To report pool hazards and pool-related injuries, call the toll-free safety hotline: 800-638-2772.