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Swimming Pool Safety

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Neighborhood and city swimming pools around central Arkansas and the state opened for business over the Memorial Day holiday.

A new study shows these bodies of water are not the greatest threat to Arkansas families.

That's because big pools have lifeguards and lots of people who could offer assistance if things go wrong.

Backyard pools are a much bigger threat.

This new study and report released by the Consumer Product Safety Commission shows that 85 percent of the drowning victims ages five and under were found in a backyard swimming pool or hot tub.

The CPSC study shows that the majority of those victims....67 percent...were between the ages of one and three.

And it shows that African American children are six times more likely to drown.

That is because 70 percent of African American children can't swim.

62 percent of Hispanic children also can't swim.

In-ground pools are four times more dangerous than above-ground pools because they are easier to get into. One in ten child drowning victims were found in a portable kiddie pool.

Ways to reduce the risk of drowning include swimming lessons, close and uninterrupted supervision and backyard fences to help keep curious or adventuresome neighborhood kids away.

There was a bit of good news in this study. Swimming pool entrapment deaths...where a child gets stuck by suction to the bottom of the pool and drowns...are becoming a thing of the past. There hasn't been a reported suction entrapment death in five years.

Air date: May 28th, 2013