Pool Drownings on Long Island

Summer swimming pool season brings the risk of dangerous safety scenarios. According to data collected by Newsday, at least one person on Long Island has drowned in a swimming pool each year from 1999 to 2017. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some of the leading risk factors for unintentional drowning include lack of swimming ability, lack of physical barriers to pools, lack of close supervision, and alcohol use.

Victims by community

Swimming pool drownings have occured across Long Island with 24 deaths in Nassau County and 65 in Suffolk between 1999 and 2017. The map below shows where and how many fatal drownings have occured.

Victims by age

On Long Island, since 1999, 31 of 89 drowning victims were between 1 and 4 years old, approximately 35%. According to the CDC, children ages 1 to 4 have the highest rate of drowning nationally. The CDC says research shows that participation in formal swimming lessons reduces the risk of drowning for children in that age group.

Victims by year

Each year since 1999 there has been at least one swimming pool drowning fatality on Long Island. The chart below shows how many drownings have occured each year.

Pool Safely, a national public education campaign launched by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, prpovides information to help stay safe around swimming pools. The campaign offers these tips to stay safe around pools:

  • Never leave a child unattended in or near water. Designate an adult whose sole task is to supervise swimming children without distractions such as electronics or reading.
  • Teach children how to swim. There may be free or reduced-cost options at your local YMCA, USA Swimming chapter or Parks and Recreation Department.
  • Teach children to stay away from drains. Children’s hair, limbs, bathing suits or jewelry can get stuck in a drain or suction opening. Ensure all pools and spas have compliant drain covers and never enter a pool that has a loose, broken or missing drain cover.
  • Install proper barriers, covers and alarms on and around your pool and spa. Teach children never to try to climb the barrier.
  • Know how to perform CPR on children and adults. Often, bystanders are the first to respond. Outcomes are improved for victims of drowning the faster CPR is performed.

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