Hundreds of pool and spa incidents since Memorial Day Weekend
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Halfway through the summer swimming season, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has seen news reports of more than 210 child drowning and non-fatal submersion incidents in pools and spas around the country since Memorial Day Weekend. In an effort to reduce these preventable incidents, CPSC and partners Safe Kids USA and the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA) joined forces today to introduce a new kids safety education program. The centerpieces of the program are a multi-part educational video and an online activity, which are part of CPSC's national Pool Safely campaign.
"Just one incident is one too many," said Inez M. Tenenbaum, Chairman of the CPSC. "These statistics are a wake up call and a reminder that these tragic incidents are preventable. Our kids safety program is designed to teach parents and children simple water safety steps so that everyone will Pool Safely this summer."
The educational video highlights individual experiences and uses seven simple Pool Safely steps to encourage safe and responsible behavior in and around pools and spas. It is introduced by actress Ming-Na, the voice of Mulan in Disney animated films and star of the NBC drama "ER." The video series is available to view at www.youtube.com/poolsafely and on the websites of Safe Kids (www.safekids.org) and the NDPA (www.ndpa.org)
The new Pool Safely interactive online activity is designed for parents and young children. It highlights unsafe behaviors around the pool in a variety of real-world settings such as backyard, hotel and community pools. Game players are encouraged to identify the trouble spots and behaviors. The online activity is aimed at children seven and under and will be available for play on the Pool Safely website and on the websites of the NDPA and Safe Kids.
"Safe Kids is proud to work with the CPSC on the creation of a kids safety education program," said Mitch Stoller, president and CEO, Safe Kids Worldwide. "Children and families can learn valuable water safety messages - that may ultimately help save a life through a new online activity and educational videos made possible by the Pool Safely campaign."
"The NDPA is proud to be a Pool Safely Campaign Safety Partner," said Kristin Goffman, Founding Board Member and Executive Director of NDPA. "Our members are dedicated drowning prevention and water safety advocates who will be able to use the educational video and Pool Safely campaign materials to help families learn how to prevent the needless tragedy of child drownings. We are excited to work with the CPSC and the other campaign partners to spark a national conversation about how we can all help keep kids safe around pools and spas."
"I fully support the new Pool Safely campaign and the efforts to increase public awareness about preventing drowning deaths and injuries," said Harris County Judge Ed Emmett. "Harris County residents should visit the Pool Safely website and review the water safety tips with their children before heading out to the pool. A little time spent online can possibly make a life-saving difference in the water."
The Pool Safely campaign is CPSC's national information and education program associated with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (P&SS Act). The Pool Safely campaign is designed to raise public awareness, support industry compliance with safety standards, and improve safety at pools and spas. The campaign was launched in Fort Lauderdale, Florida prior to Memorial Day.
Last month, the Pool Safely campaign released a series of public service announcements that remind the American public how to stay safe in and around pools and spas. They can be viewed by visiting www.youtube.com/poolsafely
About Safe Kids USA (www.safekids.org)
Safe Kids USA is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury, a leading killer of children 14 and under. More than 600 coalitions in 19 countries bring together health and safety experts, educators, corporations, foundations, governments and volunteers to educate and protect families.
About the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA) (www.ndpa.org)
The National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization devoted to the advancement of drowning prevention efforts at the national and community levels and exists to be a catalyst in drowning prevention. The NDPA recognizes that drowning is a complex public health issue, requiring a multi-faceted approach. The NDPA's Board of Directors and Advisory Council guide the organization toward the goal of reducing drowning through educational programming and materials, and through involvement in and support of research, data, and water safety-related legislative efforts. The members of the NDPA include individuals, organizations, government agencies, policy makers, corporations, and family members who have lost loved ones to drowning. The NDPA serves as a premier resource for the public and professionals for the prevention of drowning and acts as a central source of information and referral on research, data, education, policy and promotion of drowning prevention. The NDPA's JADES Network (Journey After a Drowning Experience Support) provides an element of family support through peer interaction. As an alliance, the NDPA brings together like-minded organizations, individuals, and agencies who believe that Drowning IS Preventable, and that working together, we can make a difference.
CPSC is an independent federal regulatory agency created by Congress in 1972 "to protect the public against unreasonable risks of injuries and deaths associated with consumer products." The Pool Safely campaign is proud to partner with leading organizations, including American Red Cross, YMCA of the USA, Safe Kids USA, National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA), Home Safety Council, World Waterpark Association (WWA) and Abbey's Hope. For more information, visit the website at www.poolsafely.gov and follow the campaign on Twitter @poolsafely