NDPA and CPSC Partner to Help Consumers "Pool Safely" this Summer

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The National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA) is partnering with the CPSC in a public safety campaign to take on the leading cause of preventable childhood death and Injury. This "Pool Safely" campaign, launched in late May, promotes safety measures including layers of protection between the home and pool, and utilizing anti-entrapment measures on pool drains. The NDPA has a free paper providing details on layers of protection, which can be downloaded at http://www.ndpa.org.

The National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA) has been selected as a campaign partner with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) – the nation’s consumer safety agency – to launch the Pool Safely campaign, a national public education effort to reduce child drownings and non-fatal submersions, and entrapments in pools and spas.

As a key supporter of the Virginia Graeme Pool and Spa Safety Act (P&SS Act) passed by Congress and signed into law in 2007, the NDPA encourages everyone to Pool Safely this summer by creating a personal system of safety that consists of adding as many safety steps as possible in and around pools and spas.

“With thousands of pool and spa related injuries and hundreds of deaths each year, the Pool Safely campaign is a reminder of how taking simple steps can save lives,” said NDPA President Kim Tyson. “The NDPA is a key supporter of the Pool Safely campaign. Adding extra water safety steps in and around pools and spas can make all the difference. The NDPA’s paper, ‘Layers of Protection,’ which can be downloaded for free at http://www.ndpa.org, can be used by pool owners as a resource in following the suggestions presented in the Pool Safely campaign.”

At a press conference on May 24 at the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Inez Tenenbaum, Chairman of the CPSC, was joined by U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chief House sponsor of the Act; Nancy Baker, the mother of the child honored by the Pool and Spa Safety Act; Olympic Swimmers Jason Lezak and Janet Evans, and NDPA board member Kim Burgess to announce the Pool Safely campaign and discuss the call-to-action for the public and start of a national conversation about pool and spa safety.

The CPSC estimates each year nearly 300 children younger than five drown in swimming pools and spas and more than 4,200 children under the age of 15 go to hospital emergency rooms due to non-fatal submersions injuries. An unknown number of these hospitalizations result in permanent disability, including brain damage.

The greatest water safety assurance comes from adopting and practicing as many water safety measures as possible, including: staying close, being alert, and watching children in and around the pool; learning and practicing water safety skills (know how to swim and perform CPR); and having the appropriate equipment (compliant safety drain covers, alarms, fences and other barriers). The campaign will highlight the need to implement a “personal system of safety” consisting of as many proven water safety steps (or layers of protection) as possible.

“Our Pool Safely campaign will let consumers, industry, state and local officials, and other stakeholders know that we all have a role to play in keeping children safe from drowning and entrapment incidents,” said Inez Tenenbaum, Chairman of CPSC. “We can make all pools and spas in the US safe for children and families.”

The campaign is a key part of the CPSC’s efforts to carry out the requirements of Section 1407 of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (P&SS Act). The legislation, signed into law in 2007, mandates new requirements for pool and spa safety, including a national public education campaign designed to raise public awareness, promote industry compliance, and improve safety at pools and spas.

The campaign will continue throughout the year with multiple press events, announcements and initiatives. For more information and to stay updated with the campaign, visit http://www.poolsafely.gov . For information useful in implementing Swim Safely campaign strategies, visit http://www.ndpa.org. You can also follow the campaign on Twitter @poolsafely or get pool safety tips from the NDPA on Twitter @drownalliance.

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