Education Superintendent Jim Rex is joining with child safety advocates urging parents and other caregivers to be cautious all year long about the danger of drowning.
Rex says swimming season lasts well into autumn, and on average, more than 200 children younger than 15 drown in pools or spas between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
According to a new report, five children drowned over the summer in South Carolina. Four near-drownings were reported. California led the nation for children drowning with 29 drownings and 18 near-drownings. Nationwide, more than 180 child drownings were reported and 195 near-drownings.
Former state superintendent Inez Tenenbaum, now chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission says just because kids go back to school it doesn’t mean the end of the swimming season.
Home Safety Council officials say families with a pool or spa must be vigilant year-round about careful supervision. They say the safest pools have four-sided fencing that blocks direct access from the home, and self-closing, self-latching gates.
Tenenbaum also says it really helps if children know how to swim.