Study identifies predictors of at-home pool drownings among children

October 26, 2011

Boston – A study presented Oct. 17 at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition in Boston revealed three main scenarios that lead to at-home pool drownings among young children.

Researchers gathered data from an analysis of 46 at-home pool drownings in Orange County, CA, between 2000 and 2007 and found the three main scenarios that resulted in drownings were:

  • Children 1 or 2 years old wandering outside while caregivers are distracted by house upkeep or child care
  • Children 3 or 4 years old left alone near a pool
  • Children 1 or 2 years old left alone outside

Lead study author Phyllis Agran stated that most of the 1- or 2-year-old child deaths occurred because the children were able to gain pool access without their guardians realizing it. “When in the pool or playing outside around the pool, hands-on supervision is necessary,” Agran said in a press release.

Researchers recommend that parents wait to install pools until their children are older than 5. Agran also suggested parents install pool fences with a self-closing, self-latching gate in good condition.