So far this summer, 48 U.S. pool deaths

June 29, 2011 at 9:46 PM

WASHINGTON, June 29 (UPI) -- Since Memorial Day, there have been 48 drownings and 75 near-drownings in pools and spas in 35 states and territories reported by U.S. media, officials say.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission officials say with pools and spas being such a high-risk activity for children, the commission and partners are calling for added vigilance this Fourth of July weekend and the rest of the summer.

"Far too many families have been tragically impacted by child drownings this summer. We are calling on the public to Pool Safely this holiday weekend and in the months to come," Kathleen Reilly, pool safely campaign leader at the commission, says in a statement. "We want to encourage everyone to remember that simple steps save lives. You never know which safety step will save a life ... until it does."

Connie Harvey, manager of aquatics programs for the American Red Cross, says a Red Cross water safety survey indicates 21 percent of U.S. adults have weak or non-existent swimming skills.

The Red Cross' national survey of more than 1,000 adults, taken this spring, also found:

-- 45 percent intend to swim in their own pool or someone else's home pool.

-- 32 percent mistakenly believe having a child wear water wings or floats is safer than providing arm's reach supervision.

-- 38 percent recalled an experience in which someone in deep water needed help.

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