Pool Safely Campaign
Written by Faith Anderson on November 2, 2011
Campaign Supports Compliance with VGB Act
Pool Safely is a multiple award-winning campaign committed to working with industry to encourage long-term safety in the use of pools and spas. CPSC engaged Widmeyer Communications to create the new campaign and educational program, which was launched in 2010, in order to deliver the message that adding a few simple steps to your routine can make children and families safer in swimming environments. The campaign supports long-term safety changes and compliance with the 2007 Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, or VGB Act. The Act is named for a child who died in an entrapment incident in a residential spa in 2002, and requires anti-entrapment drain covers and other safety systems or devices in all public pools and spas. According to the CPSC, the Pool Safely campaign is a first-of-its-kind national public education effort to reduce child drownings, non-fatal submersions, and entrapments in swimming pools and spas.
Safety Steps to Prevent Pool-Related Accidents
From 2005-2007, there was an annual average of 385 pool and spa-related drownings for children younger than 15, and about 78%, or 299, of those children were younger than five. The Pool Safely campaign delivers the message that adopting and practicing as many water safety measures as possible can prevent pool and spa injuries and fatalities. This may include using barriers that completely surround the pool with self-closing, self-latching gates; being alert, staying close and watching children at the pool; learning and practicing water safety skills; and using the appropriate equipment, including compliant alarms, drain covers and sensors.
Promoting National Awareness Regarding Pool and Spa Safety
“As a parent of young children, I know there’s no single, sure-fire way to ensure their safety around pools and spas,” said Janet Evans, five-time Olympic medalist in swimming. “Whether it’s enrolling them in swimming lessons or simply watching them at all times, there’s always one more thing I can do. The Pool Safely campaign offers a variety of simple steps we can all take to protect our children in pools and spas.” By launching the Pool Safely campaign, the CPSC can “start a national conversation with parents and children, pool owners and operators and industry professionals about the simple safety steps they can take to protect themselves and their families in and around pools and spas,” says Inez Tenenbaum, Chairman of the CPSC. “These incidents are preventable, so our mission is to change the way families think and act about pool and spa safety.”