CDC: Drowning is leading cause of unintentional death in children ages 1-4

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The drowning death of a 2-year-old girl in Raytown brings up questions of how to protect kids this summer.

Raytown police are investigating how the toddler drowned in an above-ground pool in her backyard. They're not sure if she was swimming or wandered there on her own.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the reality is that drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death among children between the ages of one and four.

"Approximately 390 children under 14 drown just in pools and spas, I'm not talking about other bodies of water, that's just pools and spas. Children 1 to 4 are the most vulnerable and they represent about 300 of those children," Kathleen Reilly, project manager of the Pool Safely Campaign said.

Police do suspect this drowning was just a tragic accident.

Reilly explained children are very attracted to water. "If they've had a good, fun time in that water, they're going back in."

Having adult supervision and teaching kids to swim should be common sense but Chuck Baldwin, president of Swim Things knows people get distracted. "A lot of people are buying these blow-up pools and they're less than 24 inches so they don't need a fence. But particularly a real small child or babies, if you turn your back, answer the phone, get distracted, it doesn't take very much water," Baldwin said.

There are precautions you can put in place:

Install door alarms
Use wristband alert
Purchase water sensors
Use laser sensors

Some of these detect movement around or in the pool.

In most cities and towns, if there are more than 24 inches of water in a pool, then you are required to have at least a four-foot fence surrounding it.

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