Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death among children ages 1-4. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) latest drowning data show an increase in pool-or spa related fatal drowning incidents among children younger than 15 years old. On average, there were 397 reported pool-or-spa-related fatal drownings per year for 2016-2018, involving children younger than 15 years of age. Seventy-five percent of the reported fatal drownings from 2016-2018 involved children younger than five years of age–eighty-three percent of these were at residential pools.
To help combat these tragic drownings, the CPSC recently announced it is seeking applications for the Pool Safely Grant Program (PSGP or grant program) to assist state and local governments with reducing deaths and injuries from drowning and drain entrapment incidents in pools and spas. CPSC will award up to a total of $2 million in two-year grants to qualifying jurisdictions, ranging from $50,000 to $400,000. The PSGP is an essential part of CPSC’s work to prevent drain entrapment and drowning.
The grant program is made possible through the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (VGB Act), which seeks to provide state and local governments with assistance for education, training and enforcement of pool safety requirements, as well as drowning prevention education. Since the Act’s passage in 2007, the agency has awarded nearly $5 million in funding grants to 24 recipients.
To apply, applicants must be a state or local government or U. S. Territory that has an enacted or amended a law that meets the requirements of the VGB Act (15 U.S.C. 8001 sections 1405 and 1406). Prospective applicants are encouraged to review the solicitation on Grants.gov, under grant opportunity CPSC-22-001. Additionally, if you are a Pool Safely collaborator organization, please let your state and local legislators know about this opportunity. It can benefit water safety programs in your community!
Applications are open through June 20, 2022.
VGB Act grants can potentially save lives through enforcement of pool safety laws, and informing and educating the public about entrapment dangers to prevent drowning. As the summer swim season approaches, visit www.PoolSafely.gov to review important water safety tips, before getting in or around the water with the kids.