It’s a tragedy no family wants to experience, and yet it’s happening every year by the hundreds.
A report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released Thursday cites 363 pool-or-spa-related drowning incidents of children under the age of 15 every year from 2014 to 2016, 74% of which were children under five. Drowning tops the list of unintentional deaths of one to four-year-old children in the U.S., the report wrote. Transportation related injuries are among the leading causes of deaths for children five to 19 years old.
Several celebrity families in recent years have fallen victim to these accidents.
The CPSC’s release came as country singer Granger Smith revealed the loss of his 3-year-old son, River Kelly Smith, on Instagram Thursday after a “tragic accident.” Smith’s rep confirmed that the child drowned at their home, according to PEOPLE.
“I have to deliver unthinkable news. We’ve lost our youngest son, River Kelly Smith. Following a tragic accident, and despite doctor’s best efforts, he was unable to be revived,” the “Backroad Song” singer wrote. “Our family is devastated and heartbroken, but we take solace in knowing he is with his Heavenly Father. Riv was special. Everyone that met him knew that immediately.”
Just last year, a similar incident occurred: Olympic skier Bode Miller’s 19-month-old daughter Emeline “Emmy” Grier was found face down in their neighbor’s pool in Coto de Caza, California. His wife, Morgan Miller, performed CPR but the toddler eventually died in the hospital the next day, according to a report from PEOPLE earlier this year.
Morgan Miller, as well as country singers Jason Aldean, Maren Morris, Luke Bryan, Dan + Shay and Kane Brown reacted to Smith’s loss.
“My heart breaks,” she wrote as a caption for a photo of Smith and his son on her Instagram story. “Another baby gone too soon.”
June, the beginning of summer, has the highest rate of “submersion fatalities.” 72% of fatal incidents happen in residential areas, data from the same CPSC report states.
“This report underscores the need for all families to stay vigilant and practice water safety anytime they are in or around the water,” said Ann Marie Buerkle, acting chairman of the CPSC, in the report.
CPSC has created guidelines called the Pool Safely Pledge, which encourages parents and caregivers to assign a “water watcher” when children are near the water, ensure children learn how to swim, learn CPR, remove pool ladders after use and put up fences, covers or barriers around the pool.
Smith and his wife Amber intend to donate River Kelly’s organs to children for them to have “a second chance at life.”
“In lieu of flowers or gifts, please send donations to Dell Children’s Medical Center in River’s name. The doctors, nurses and staff have been incredible,” Smith, 39, captioned.
The couple has two other children, a son and a daughter: five-year-old Lincoln and 7-year-old London.
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