New Pool and Spa Messages Available in Advance of July 4th Holiday; U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Debuts New PSAs About Safety Steps around Pools and Spas

July 01, 2010
Release Number: 10-291

Today, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) debuts a series of Public Service Announcements (PSAs) about their Pool Safely campaign (www.poolsafely.gov) illustrating how simple steps saves lives at pools and spas.

Partnering with the American Red Cross (www.redcross.org) and the YMCA of the USA (www.ymca.net), CPSC produced broadcast, print and radio PSAs that are being distributed to media outlets across the country. Available to local television and radio stations in English and Spanish, the English-language versions feature Ming-Na, the voice of Mulan in Disney animated films and star of the NBC drama "ER", The Joy Luck Club and currently starring in Stargate Universe.

"Our new PSAs are intended to remind parents and children to stay safe in and around pools and spas by practicing as many water safety steps as possible," said Inez M. Tenenbaum. "The Pool Safely campaign encourages everyone to adopt new safety behaviors while having fun in the pool. It's important to remember that every drowning incident represents a family tragedy."

The PSAs introduce four families and stories about the simple steps that save lives: door alarms, knowledge of CPR, fencing around pools and spas and safety drain covers in spas. The characters in the broadcast PSA are also featured in the print versions of the PSA. The radio PSAs promote the importance of swimming lessons as a simple step that save lives.

"It's important that families are aware of the simple steps that can make a big difference around the water," said Connie Harvey, water safety expert for the American Red Cross. "Sharing that knowledge through PSAs is a great first step to helping parents and children stay safe while enjoying their summer activities."

"Local YMCAs are where millions of children in thousands of U.S. communities learn how to swim and how to stay safe around pools and spas," said Mike Espino, Aquatics Safety and Risk Specialist with YMCA of the USA. "The new PSAs remind parents and children about the importance of staying safe in the water. The YMCA of the USA is proud to partner with CPSC on the Pool Safely campaign because it supports our efforts to help families stay safe and be responsible around pools and spas."

The broadcast PSAs will be rolled out through the summer in markets across the country. They will be distributed to more than 1,200 local television and 500 cable stations, as well as more than 500 radio stations. The PSAs will also be available on the Pool Safely YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/poolsafely). Campaign partners and supporters will feature them on their websites and promote them through their networks.

The print PSAs promote the initial four safety steps as well as swimming lessons and include versions suitable for insertion in publications as well as billboard and bus/transit versions. They will also be featured in pool and spa industry trade publications.

The Pool Safely campaign is CPSC's national information and education program for 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, and improve safety at pools and spas. The campaign was launched in Fort Lauderdale, Florida prior to Memorial Day, the traditional start of the summer swimming season.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization - not a government agency - and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org

About YMCA of the USA

YMCA of the USA is the national resource office for the nation's 2,687 YMCAs, which serve 21 million people each year, including more than 9 million children under the age of 18. YMCAs respond to critical social needs by drawing on their collective strength as one of America's largest not-for-profit community service organizations. Through a variety of programs and services focused on the holistic development of children and youth, family strengthening, and health and well-being for all, YMCAs unite men, women and children of all ages, faiths, backgrounds, abilities and income levels. From urban areas to small towns, YMCAs have proudly served America's communities for nearly 160 years by building healthy spirit, mind and body for all. Visit www.ymca.net to find your local YMCA.

About CPSC

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