WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Nearly 400 child drownings and near-tragedies* nationwide have been reported by the media since Memorial Day weekend, leading the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to bring its Pool Safely campaign to Minnesota. The campaign is teaming up with Senator Amy Klobuchar (the leading advocate in the United States Senate of a lifesaving pool and spa safety law), St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, and Campaign Safety Partners Abbey's Hope and World Waterpark Association (WWA) to commemorate Pool Safely Day and prevent child drownings and drain entrapments.
CPSC's first-of-its-kind national pool and spa public safety campaign, Pool Safely: Simple Steps Save Lives, is urging parents and children to remain vigilant in and around pools, spas, and public and private water parks and aquatic facilities nationwide year-round.
"Drowning prevention and swimming safety are important year-round," said Inez M. Tenenbaum, Chairman of the CPSC. "We at the CPSC have made pool and spa safety one of our top priorities and we are proud that water parks and aquatic facilities around the country are joining us to recognize Pool Safely Day. We want to encourage everyone to remember that you never know which safety step will save a life...until it does."
Throughout the month of September, CPSC issued a nationwide call-to-action to water parks and other aquatic facilities to demonstrate their support for Pool Safely Day by making drowning prevention a priority and distributing campaign educational materials to their guests. Examples of Pool Safely Day activities held today include:
- The District of Columbia's Department of Parks and Recreation (DC DPR) was joined by CPSC Commissioner Anne Northup and representatives of Campaign Safety Partner American Red Cross at a public education event at the Deanwood Community Center in Northeast. DC DPR held another event at the Marie Reed Aquatic Center and distributed campaign materials to the public visiting all ten of their indoor swimming pool facilities.
- Four cities in California hosted events and distributed materials at their facilities, including the cities of Chula Vista, La Mesa, San Diego and Palmdale.
- Seven locations in Florida hosted events and distributed materials at their facilities, including the County of Palm Beach and cities of Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale, Kissimmee, Boca Raton, and Boynton Beach.
At a news conference at the Great River Water Park in the Oxford Community Center in St. Paul, Chairman Tenenbaum recognized the other Pool Safely Day events being held across the country and acknowledged the role of Abbey's Hope and WWA in helping to educate the public about the importance of pool and spa safety. Every day, everywhere pool safety needs to be followed, not just at outdoor swimming pools during the summer, but also at water parks, hotels, motels, and indoor aquatic centers.
"Abbey Taylor was the inspiration for our work in Congress to pass the Virginia Graeme Baker Act, and this law has greatly improved pool safety for millions of Americans," said U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar. "With the help of organizations like Abbey's Hope and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, we're working to ensure that every family has the peace of mind of knowing that their kids are safe in the pool."
"We are excited to partner with the CPSC in hosting a National Pool Safely Day event here in our community," said Katey Taylor, co-founder and President of Abbey's Hope Charitable Foundation. "Abbey's Hope is dedicated to providing children, families and caregivers with the safety tools and information they need to ensure that their time in the water is safe and enjoyable. The Pool Safely campaign is a simple reminder of how easy it is to save a life."
"The key to preventing incidents or drowning is education," Mayor Chris Coleman said. "I applaud CPSC's Pool Safely campaign for raising awareness in Saint Paul and across the U.S. on the importance of being safe around pools and spas."
"Water parks provide fun and entertainment for millions of Americans every year," said Rick Root, president of the World Waterpark Association. "As the voice of the water park industry, we at WWA recognize our responsibility to provide education and information about how to have fun in the water while also staying safe - we want everyone using one of our facilities to Pool Safely."
This summer, the Pool Safely campaign released a series of print and broadcast Public Service Announcements and launched an online kids safety program, both of which can be seen at www.youtube.com/poolsafely
The Pool Safely campaign is proud to partner with leading organizations, including American Red Cross, The YMCA of the USA, Safe Kids USA, National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA), Home Safety Council, World Waterpark Association (WWA), Abbey's Hope and the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP). For more information, visit the website at www.PoolSafely.gov and follow the campaign on Twitter @poolsafely
About Abbey's Hope (www.abbeyshope.org)
The Abbey's Hope Foundation works fiercely and passionately to raise awareness and educate parents and families about how to safeguard kids in and around the pool.
About World Waterpark Association
The World Waterpark Association (WWA) is the world's leading water leisure trade association, serving more than 1000 park operator and supplier members from more than forty-two countries around the world. Since its inception thirty years ago, the WWA has been the leading advocate for the development of the water leisure industry for its park and supplier members. Visit www.waterparks.org
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 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 about drowning and entrapment prevention, 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.
*media reported drownings and near-drownings of children aged 14 and younger.