On Saturday, May 4, the City of Portland will kick off swim season with its award-winning Play It Safe program, which is geared toward keeping kids safe in and around the family pool. The event will be held from noon to 2:00 p.m. at the Portland Aquatic Center, 2002 Billy G. Webb Dr. Play It Safe offers an opportunity to learn about water safety, backyard pool requirements, and how to play it safe in and around the water. All children must be accompanied by an adult. (This will be a free swim day at the Aquatic Center.)
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), 350 children under the age of five drown in pools each year nationwide. Most of the deaths occur in June, July, and August; most in backyard pools.
In a comprehensive study of drowning incidents involving children under 5 years old, the CPSC found that:
- Most were young. 75% of victims were between 1 and 3 years old; 65% of this group were boys.
- Most were being watched by parents. At the time of the incidents, most victims were being supervised by one or both parents.
- Most happen at home. Incidents usually happen in familiar surroundings. 65% of incidents happen in the family pool and a third of the incidents happen in a pool owned by friends or relatives.
- Most accidents happen quickly. A child can drown in the time it takes to answer a phone.
- A silent killer. Child drowning is a silent death. There's no splashing to alert anyone that the child is in trouble.
Play it smart this summer season…join us for Play It Safe. For more information, contact the City of Portland Parks & Recreation Department at 361.777.4670.