LOS ANGELES (RPRN) 7/09/2009-â€“With summer in full swing, the tragedy of children drowning in residential swimming pools is on the rise, possibly trending with more incidents this year than in previous years in which an estimated 450-500 children were reported drowned in backyard swimming pools.
Already this year, more than 119 children between 1-5 years old have drowned in residential swimming pools in the five states that have consistently reported the highest number of drowning incidents each year. These states ranked by the number of incidents so far in 2009, include: Arizona, Florida, California, Texas, and New York. Approximately 35 days ago, the number of drowning incidents in these states stood at 80.
â€œIn just over a month, there have been 39 more drowning incidents in the top five states,â€ said Todd Appleman, an advocate for water safety public education campaigns and President of eSafetyAlert, an authorized reseller of the Safety TurtleÂ® pool alarm.”Â
â€œAt this rate, we are seeing about one drowning incident per day just in the five top states,” he said. â€œThrough news reports, and online research, we estimate that about 230 children have drowned in residential pools so far in 2009.â€
According to The Centers for Disease Control, drowning incidents among children aged one to five years of age averages approximately 500 per year, making drowning in backyard swimming pools the leading cause of accidental deaths among Toddlers. Thousands more suffer permanent brain damage in near-drowning incidents.
â€œAfter commissioning a national Harris poll, we discovered that parents are largely unaware of the danger that swimming pools pose,â€ said Mr. Appleman. â€œDespite numerous national organizationsâ€™ public education campaigns, parents still are not getting the message.â€
â€œWe recommend that parents remain constantly vigilant when their children are near a swimming pool or any other water hazard,â€ said Mr. Appleman. â€œSecondly, we recommend pool owners invest in â€˜Layers of Protection,â€™ which in many cities and states are mandatory. These Layers of Protection include installation of an ASTM-rated pool fence, self-closing gates, a gate alarm, and the last line of defense, a pool alarm. Each of these â€˜layers of protectionâ€™ save lives.â€
Considered the â€œgold standardâ€ among pool alarms currently on the market, the Safety Turtle alarm, designed and manufactured by Terrapin Communications, Inc., is unlike other pool alarms. The Safety Turtle system is an immersion alarm which includes a Base Station receiver which monitors any number of Turtle Wristbands which are worn on a childâ€™s wrist and locked with a childproof strap by an adult. In the event that the child falls into the pool, a piercing alarm sounds the instant the child falls into the water.
New this year, eSafetyAlert offers the Safety Turtle Wireless Gate Alarm which sounds a siren the moment the child opens the pool gate. This alerts parents and other adults that the child is in danger â€“ first as the gate is opened, and second if the child falls into the water activating the Base Station alarm.
â€œWhat differentiates the Safety Turtle alarm is how the Turtle Wristband sends a radio frequency to the Base Station the instant the child falls into the pool. This gives adults a vital warning the moment the child is in danger, thus minimizing the number of seconds that the child is potentially submerged underwater,â€ said Mr. Appleman. â€œThe perception that parents donâ€™t need an alarm because they would hear their child drowning is a myth.â€ He added, â€œIn fact, drowning is considered a â€˜silent death.â€™ Research has shown that children slip under water when adults are often only a few feet away. This is why an adult must be vigilant whenever children are near water. A pool alarm is the last line of defense.â€
Mr. Appleman adds, â€œAlmost all drowning or near-drowning incidents can be prevented if safety precautions, such as using pool nets, installing fencing that meets ASTM codes, installing self-closing gates with alarms, installing a pool alarm, and most importantly, always ensuring that an adult is actively supervising children at all times. Together, all of these Layers of Protection reduce the risk; but the weakest link is when children are not being watched at all times. This is the message that we must repeat year-after-year.â€
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