Diving Into Summertime

At the same time, injuries resulting from pool and spa submersions that are reported by hospitals have decreased. Between 2004 and 2006, the average number of injuries was 2,800; that number fell to 2,700 between 2005 and 2007.

For a safe and healthy summer by the pool, parents, officials and swim instructors also recommend several tips, some of which include:

Double-Check Drain Covers

Inspect pools and spas for missing or broken drain covers and don't let kids in the water if they're not working properly. Missing or broken drain covers can create enough suction to trap kids underwater. In case of emergency, also know how to turn off the pump.

Between 1999 and 2007, the CPSC found 74 cases of entrapment in pool and spa drains. Of those cases, nine people died -- eight of whom were younger than 14.

In December 2007, President Bush signed a law that requires all public pools and spas to have safety drain covers, and in certain cases, anti-entrapment system in place by December 2008 to prevent children from getting caught in the drain's suction.

"CPSC is calling upon all public pool and spa owners to comply with the new federal law and we urge parents to never let their children out of sight when they are in or around a pool or spa," acting CPSC chairwoman Nancy Nord said in a statement released today.

Surround the Pool With a Fence and Other Barriers

Give your pool a safety check to ensure it's ready for summer. That involves making sure the pool is surrounded by a fence that's at least four feet high with a self-closing, self-latching gate.

The CPSC also recommends covering the pool with a safety cover and installing door alarms if the pool is directly next to the house.

Keep Rescue Devices and a Phone Poolside

"Make sure the pool environment has a shepherd's hook and a life ring that can be tossed out to a potential drowning victim," said Kerr, who is also a founding board member and adviser to the National Drowning Prevention Alliance. "I think it's very important for parents to realize that it's up to them -- the kids are depending on them to put the safety products in place."

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