Report urges swimming pool safety

May 24, 2013 (CHICAGO)

A Consumer Product Safety Commission report is reminding Americans to keep kids safe in the water.

Children in the water can silently and quickly face drowning. As they move to deeper water, suddenly, they can slip away if they are not saved. Some kids end up at the bottom of the pool and cannot be seen depending on if the water is calm or being churned up.

With nearly 300 kids under 5 years old drowning each year, the government is pleading with parents. More than half of those under 5 years old drown in their family pool.

The recommendations and warnings are nothing new, but unfortunately, the number of deaths has remained steady.

Cullen Jones nearly became a statistic at age 5.

"I was under water for about 30 seconds, and it only takes a child about 20 seconds to drown," said Jones.

Jones not only survived; he learned to swim. And, boy, can he swim -- he became an Olympic gold medalist in 2008 and is now trying to turn around those drowning statistics by inspiring and teaching kids.

His advice: The cure-all -- learn to swim.

"I urge families and parents to take one summer, put the hair in braids, go natural for one summer, because it's just like riding a bike, you never forget how to do it," said Jones.

He has not forgotten. He is training for the next Olympics and hoping some of these kids will follow his lead.

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