Spring has only just arrived and the weather is getting warmer, but already in the first few months of 2011 there have been 37 reports of drownings and 38 near-drowning incidents. In light of these alarming numbers and with the summer swimming season just around the corner, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is highlighting water saftey in hopes of saving lives. The agency has launched a public service campaign and provides safety tips at its website, www.PoolSafely.gov.
The safety campaign was developed in partnership with the American Red Cross and the YMCA, and is the first of its kind national public education effort to reduce child drownings and near-drownings in swimming pools and spas.
“As the summer swimming season approaches, our message to parents and caregivers is simple: stay safe in and around pools and spas by practicing as many safety steps as possible. This includes staying close to children at all times, knowing water safety skills like CPR, and ensuring anti-entrapment drain covers are installed in all pools and spas,” said Inez Tenenbaum, Chairman of the CPSC. “So many of the drowning and near-drowning incidents that happen every year are preventable and every drowning and near-drowning is a terrible tragedy.”
CPSC Chairman Tenenbaum delivered a keynote speech at the National Drowning Prevention Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado last week. Her address at the nation’s premiere water safety and drowning prevention conference focused on CPSC’s role in preventing drowning, the Pool Safely campaign and its efforts to encourage compliance with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, which mandated a national public education campaign about drowning and entrapment prevention. Tenenbaum also provided an update on the campaign and efforts to sustain drowning prevention advocacy through education, training and partnerships.
Since January 2010, the Pool Safely campaign has responded to over 600 media-reported drowning, near-drowning and entrapment incidents. Steps such as staying close to children at all times, learning water safety skills and having the appropriate equipment, can help families have a safer experience in and around pools and spas.