Pool Safely March/April Newsletter: Spring Perspectives on Home Water Safety
May 6, 2020
Dear Pool and Spa Safety Community,
We hope this newsletter finds you and your family safe and healthy during this challenging start to the spring season.
The coronavirus pandemic means homes across the country have quickly transformed into schools, offices, and even playgrounds. As such, the Pool Safely campaign has been focusing on water safety tips to reflect these changes. Public swimming pools may be closed, but many families are opening their backyard pools as the weather gets warmer. Therefore, our newsletter includes safety tips for when you are in and around the water, inside or outside the home, as you continue to shelter in place with your families.
In addition, the Pool Safely campaign would like to thank the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA) for its leadership in moving the 2020 National Water Safety Conference online during these unprecedented times. Originally planned to take place in Fort Worth, Texas, conference organizers worked diligently to provide all presentations and sessions – including CPSC Commissioner Peter Feldman’s keynote address – virtually. We are excited to share our conference participation overview and key takeaways with you, so keep reading!
Pool Safely at Home
As everyone spends more time at home, many curious kids are looking for things to do, while adults may be distracted working from home and juggling extra responsibilities. During this uncertain time, it is critical that families stay vigilant about water safety. Keep in mind our tips on how to Pool Safely at home:
- Never leave a child unattended in or near water, and always designate an adult Water Watcher. In addition to pools and spas, this warning includes bathtubs, buckets, decorative ponds, and fountains.
- If you own a pool or spa, be sure to install layers of protection, including barriers, covers, and alarms, to prevent children from accessing the water without adult supervision.
- Learn CPR so that you are prepared in case of a drowning incident. Many communities offer online CPR training.
- Visit the Pool Safely Kids’ Corner to keep children entertained and educated with water safety games and activities.
- Take the Pool Safely Pledge as a family, and find customized water safety resources using our Safer Water Information Match (S.W.I.M.) tool.
Making Virtual Connections at the 2020 National Water Safety Conference Online
Every spring, Pool Safely is proud to connect with many members of the water safety community at the National Water Safety Conference, hosted by our longtime collaborator, the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA). The conference is the nation’s leading annual event devoted to drowning prevention and water safety. In response to growing public health concerns surrounding COVID-19, this year, the NDPA Board quickly moved the 2020 event online. The virtual conference took place April 6-9 under the theme: “Drowning won’t stop, so neither will we!” This underscores the water safety community’s tireless commitment to drowning prevention 365 days a year, regardless of what else is happening in the world.
In addition, Pool Safely was proud to have CPSC Commissioner Peter Feldman deliver the conference’s keynote address via video conference to share updates about the Pool Safely campaign and CPSC’s enduring commitment to drowning prevention and water safety education, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. Commissioner Feldman highlighted the strength of the community and acknowledged the 14 percent decrease in fatal child pool and spa drownings in 2019, based on media reported data from USA Swimming Foundation. He also reinforced Pool Safely’s simple water safety steps and urged everyone to renew their commitment to drowning prevention by taking the Pool Safely Pledge.
Additionally, the Commissioner addressed the expected impact that COVID-19 will have on families in the coming months. With public pools closed, children spending more time at home, and many adults who may be distracted by competing priorities, he stressed the need to remain vigilant about water safety to avoid a spike in home pools and spa drownings during this time.
Check out our April blog post describing our key takeaways from the online conference to learn more!
New on the Blog
The year 2020 marks the 10-year anniversary of the Pool Safely campaign. CPSC is grateful for its growing community of advocates, especially those who have worked with us this past decade, who bring awareness to drowning prevention and further understanding of the public health crisis of child drownings. The USA Swimming Foundation is one of those veteran collaborators, who has worked tirelessly over the past decade to compile media-reported drownings. In honor of their ongoing efforts, Pool Safely’s March Blog Post acknowledged 10 years of using their drowning data in pools and spas among children younger than 15. Since 2010, there has been almost a 35 percent decrease in reported drownings, underscoring the successful efforts of the entire #drowningprevention community. While this is good news, we still know there is more work to do. By working together, we can help achieve our shared goal of #notonemoredrowning. Check out the full blog post to learn more!
Welcome New Pool Safely Community Members
Pool Safely recently welcomed four new organizations from across the United States as community collaborators. We look forward to working with you as you share #watersafety messages!
- JBM Home Inspections (IN)
- All American Pool Company (CA)
- Swim for Charlie (NC)
- Total Aquatic Programming, LLC. (CO)
Pool Safely Community Highlights
Pool Safely collaborators have been very active in sharing water safety messaging and resources with their communities. Here are just a few highlights that took place before shelter-in-place orders:
- Safe & Healthy Children’s Coalition of Collier County spoke with moms at Grace Place Naples about water safety and passed out our #WaterWatcher cards and door alarms (photo: left).
- The Joshua Collingsworth Memorial Foundation and Water Smart Tots read about #watersafety to 100 preschoolers at a local school (photo: center).
- With children spending more time indoors, many members of the #PoolSafely community have developed fun online tools and videos to teach kids water safety. Head over to our Facebook and Twitter pages to see which ones we’ve highlighted and what these groups are up to (photo: right)!
The start of spring is always an important time for #WaterSafety work, and this year we are faced with new challenges to share joint drowning prevention efforts virtually. So far, we have been impressed with the successful and creative approaches our community is taking, and we are excited to continue to work together in this online world. To echo the theme of this year’s NDPA conference, “Drowning won’t stop, so neither will we!”
Thank you for continuing to remind your family, friends, and neighbors about the importance of being a vigilant and observant #WaterWatcher. Please visit PoolSafely.gov to access important online information and to share our digital resources with those in your network.
We wish you, your families, and your community good health.
Pool Safely Campaign Leader
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)