August Newsletter

August 22, 2017

two women smiling and standing in front of a pool safely sign.

Karen Cohn, co-founder of the ZAC Foundation, and Acting Chairman Buerkle take the Pledge along with Karen’s book, The Polar Bear Who Couldn’t, Wouldn’t Swim.

Dear Pool and Spa Safety Community,

The last month of the summer season is already here! It’s hard to believe that all the kids will be back in school in a few short weeks and it will be time to start thinking about closing our pools for the season. I am impressed by the tenacity in which all of our Pool Safely partners have shared important water safety messages this summer and all your efforts to help keep families safer around water.

Pool Safely Joins ZAC Camp for a Day of Water Safety at Joint Base Andrews

On Aug. 8, CPSC Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle joined Pool Safely partner The ZAC Foundation to kick off its second annual water safety ZAC Camp with the Joint Base Andrews (JBA) Youth Program. Acting Chairman Buerkle and Karen Cohn, Zachary’s mother and ZAC Foundation co-founder, led the opening ceremony for the camp, along with Major Jennifer Stewart, 11th Force Support Squadron Operations Officer, and JBA Youth Director Vincent Eure. Stay tuned for a blog post with a full recap of the event!

woman speaking to a group of children outside.

Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle leads ZAC Campers in taking the Pool Safely Pledge.

60,000 Pledges and Counting!

We are happy to announce that the Pool Safely campaign recently reached another extraordinary milestone: 60,000 Pledges! Thanks to the exemplary efforts of our partners nationwide, such as Drowning Coalition of Palm Beach County in Florida, Tadpole Academy in Louisiana and the City of Boynton Beach, Florida, we have expanded awareness on water safety to thousands of people. Our partners are the foundation of Pool Safely and we are grateful for the dedication to preventing child drownings in the community.

graphic showing three of our 60000 partners.

Even as the summer comes to an end, we encourage you, and your family and friends, to remain committed to water safety. If you have not already taken the Pledge, or would like to reinforce Pool Safely’s lifesaving simple safety steps in your community, be sure to add your name. The 60,000+ signatures include Olympians, members of Congress, community leaders and partners. As a reminder, the Pool Safely Pledge is for both children and adults, and is available in both English and Spanish.

New Pool Safely Partners

13 New Partner Logos

The campaign welcomes 13 new Pool Safely partners this month:

Partner Highlights

collage of events hosted by pool safely partners.

Many of our partners have found new and creative ways to actively promote water safety over the past month:

  • The City of Boynton Beach, Florida shared Pool Safely information at a back to school event (photo: top left), where City of Boynton Beach Mayor, Steven Grant (left), and Director of Recreation and Parks, Wally Majors (right), both took the Pool Safely Pledge. The City of Boynton Beach also announced the receipt of a Make a Splash grant from USA Swimming Foundation that will allow the Recreation and Parks Department to offer reduced fee swimming lessons for residents.
  • Walmart began displaying Pool Safely messaging on monitors in 235 store locations (photo: top center). The messages will run through mid-September, so keep an eye out the next time you go to your local Walmart!
  • Tadpole Academy Swim School collected hundreds of Pool Safely Pledge cards at survival swimming lessons in Prairieville, Louisiana this summer (photo: top right).
  • Drowning Prevention Coalition of Palm Beach County collected Pool Safely Pledges and shared water safety information with children and educators at back to school events in Palm Beach County, Florida (photo: bottom left).
  • The Josh Project celebrated ten years of providing swimming safety lessons with special recognition from Ohio State Rep. Mike Ashford (photo: bottom center). Learn more via a local NBC segment.
  • NCH Safe & Healthy Children’s Coalition of Collier County partnered with Stew Leonard III Children’s Charities to educate children in Collier County, Florida about water safety at a variety of community events (photo: bottom right). Learn more via a local CBS segment.
  • CPR Party™ continued to spread the word about the importance of learning CPR through an interview on NBC Nightly News.
  • FastMed Urgent Care distributed Pool Safely information to more than 200 employees at the Phoenix, Arizona International Cruise & Excursions office.
  • Stew Leonard III Children’s Charities shared water safety information at a free community Water Safety Concert featuring Stewie the Duck and the Hall Family Singers.
  • New Pool Safely partner Children’s Water Safety Awareness sponsored free swimming lessons for more than 35 children in Houma, Louisiana this summer.
  • Kernersville Mayor Dawn Morgan proclaimed August 1, 2017 Water Safety Awareness Day in recognition of the ongoing drowning prevention efforts of Safe Swim North Carolina and its nonprofit organization, Hand in Hand Water Safety Awareness Foundation.

Please join me in thanking these and other partners working to stop drowning in communities across the country! A reminder to partners to please continue to let us know about your water safety efforts by emailing so we can help promote them.

Man putting purple ribbon on a tree

Purple ribbons are tied to the trees at the hospital, remembering children who have fatally drowned in Arizona

Drowning Impact Awareness Month in Arizona

Late summer means pool parties, and a time for families to remember the simple water safety steps that are so important to keep kids safer. Arizona welcomed August with their annual Drowning Impact Awareness Month, a statewide campaign coordinated by Pool Safely partner Phoenix Children’s Hospital. The campaign features official proclamations, events and purple ribbons remembering those children in Arizona who have fatally drowned.


Women at podium with parents and a girl on a screen

Parents who lost children to drowning deliver a powerful message at the Drowning Impact Awareness Month Kickoff Event.

Pool Safely in the News

This summer the Pool Safely campaign has been featured in the media as we worked to raise awareness about water safety. Check out some of our greatest hits:

  • Good Morning America – Ahead of the 4th of July holiday, data from the Pool Safely campaign was highlighted in a segment about water safety in and around pools. The story also aired on local stations nationwide.
  • NBC News – As part of their summer safety series, NBC News released nationally an interactive graphic to help parents and pool owners understand how to make their time around residential pools safer.
  • Parents Magazine – In the June issue of Parents Magazine, Pool Safely was featured along with the magazine’s version of the Pool Safely Pledge.

Many of our partners in the drowning prevention community have also been working with their local media this summer to share lifesaving water safety messages – we love seeing your media clips! Please continue to share them with us on social media.

August Blog Highlights

woman speaking to a group of kids by a pool and another woman holding her signed pledge.

  • The Pool Safely campaign may be seven years old, but the blog just turned one! Twelve months and nearly 50 posts later, read the recap on what the blog has covered over the past year.
  • CPSC Commissioner Marietta Robinson along with 100 children participated in a local World’s Largest Swimming Lesson to teach children the lifesaving skill of swimming while raising public awareness of water safety. Read more about this fun annual event.
  • Do you commit to do all you can do to help protect kids when they are in and around the water? Then be like Beth Root of the World Waterpark Association, our July Safety Selfie feature, and take the Pool Safely Pledge!