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Young Kids At High Risk For Drowning In Pools And Spas, Warns Federal Safety Agency

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As families take to public and backyard pools to beat the summer heat, consumer safety advocates are urging them to keep a close eye on young children. ideastream's Brian Bull reports:

Friday, July 4, 2014 at 8:09 am

New data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission shows (CPSC) more than 150 young kids have drowned so far this year. Five of those were in Ohio.

CPSC spokesman Scott Wolfson says drowning is the top cause of death for kids 4 and under. He says often parents don't know how to recognize the signs of drowning.

"Drowning is not like the movies," says Wolfson. "It's not flailing and yelling. It's quick and it's silent. So you have a whole bunch of kids in the pool and one child goes under, and if nobody is really watching the kids, that's how drowning happens."

Wolfson says there's also a racial disparity. African-American and Hispanic children are less likely to have had swimming lessons than their white peers.

The CPSC says because of this, blacks in their "tween" years of age drown at a rate ten times higher than whites.

On average, 400 pool and spa drownings happen nationally every year.

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