The Pool Safely press kit provides information for members of the media to use in reporting on water safety and child drowning.

Media Contact Information

Pool Safely Campaign Leader

Nychelle “Nikki” Fleming
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
NFleming@cpsc.gov
301-504-7908

Vice President and CPSC Pool Safely Account Manager

Jessie Reape
Widmeyer Communications, a Finn Partners company
Jessica.Reape@finnpartners.com
202-466-7800

About Pool Safely

To improve pool and spa safety, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) created Pool Safely: Simple Steps to Save Lives, a national public education campaign aimed at reducing child drownings and non-fatal submersions, as well as entrapments in public swimming pools and spas. Launched in 2010, the campaign fulfills the requirements of Section 1407 of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (P&SS Act).

The campaign is a call-to-action for consumers and industry to adopt proven water safety steps and join a national conversation about pool and spa safety by sharing best practices and other life-saving information.

The Act is named after Virginia Graeme Baker, a 7-year-old girl who passed away after a drain entrapment incident in a hot tub. Graeme was the daughter of James and Nancy Baker, and the granddaughter of former Secretary of State, James Baker III. Following her death in 2002, her family became advocates for stronger water safety measures that would ensure drain entrapment incidents would not happen to other children. It was the advocacy from Graeme’s family, as well as other families who had suffered similar tragedies, and from child safety organizations that led to the creation and passage of the VGB Act in 2007. December 19, 2017 marked the 10 years since the Act was signed into law.

For more information about the Pool Safely campaign, please visit the About Us section of the website.

About the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), created by Congress as an independent agency, began operation in 1973.

In the Consumer Product Safety Act, Congress directed CPSC to protect the public “against unreasonable risks of injuries associated with consumer products.” In addition to pool and spa safety, the CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard.

The CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products—such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals—contributed significantly to the decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.

Campaign Success and Key Statistics

351: On May 31, 2018, CPSC’s latest report found that there was on average, 351 reported fatal child drownings in pools and spas children younger than 15. This number did not increase significantly from the previous year, where CPSC reported a 17 percent decrease nationwide of fatal child drowning incidents in swimming pools involving children younger than five, since 2010, the year the Pool Safely public education campaign was launched.

Zero Deaths From Drain Entrapments: Since the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (P&SS Act) went into effect in Dec. 2008, there have been no drain entrapment-related deaths involving children in public pools and spas.

75,000+: The number of individuals that have shown their commitment to water safety and drowning prevention. A cornerstone of the Pool Safely campaign, the Pledge is a terrific way to reinforce simple safety steps. Among those who have signed the Pledge, they include Olympians, members of Congress, community leaders and advocates, and campaign partners.

1,200+: The total number of Pool Safely partners to date, these organizations and groups help to raise awareness about water safety in their communities.

Pool Safely Partnerships

Our partners are the lifeblood of the Pool Safely campaign and they play a critical role in raising awareness about drowning prevention. They range from water safety organizations to family foundations to pool and spa manufacturers, and more. We are proud to count the Michael Phelps Foundation, Walmart, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, USA Swimming Foundation, Families United to Prevent Drowning and the American Red Cross as partners of the campaign.

The Latest Drowning and Entrapment Report

Key Findings Within CPSC’s Report

351

On average, 351 children younger than 15 fatally drown annually.

76%

Of the annual 351 reported fatal child drownings annually, 76 percent involved children younger than five.

73%

Annually, 73 percent of the hospital emergency room-treated nonfatal drowning injuries from 2015 through 2017 involved children younger than five.

2X

Male children younger than 15 had twice as many fatal drownings as female children of the same age.

6,400

From 2015 through 2017, an estimated average of 6,400 children younger than 15 years old were reportedly treated in hospital emergency rooms for nonfatal drowning injuries in pools or spas.

Residential Locations

Between 2015 and 2017, residential locations made up 74 percent of reported fatal drowning incidents and at least 45 percent of reported nonfatal drowning incidents for children younger than 15.

85%

85 percent of all drowning fatalities for children younger than five occurred at a residential location from 2013 through 2015.

Pools

The majority of the estimated hospital emergency room-treated nonfatal drowning injuries for 2015 through 2017, and the reported fatal drownings for 2013 through 2015, were associated with pools (versus spas).

Note: CPSC’s report addresses nonfatal drownings for the period 2015 through 2017 and fatal drownings for the period 2013 through 2015, reflecting a lag in the reporting of fatal drowning statistics.

CPSC also released an updated report on suction entrapment incidents in swimming pools, spas and whirlpool bathtubs. Key findings include:

No Reported Fatalities

Since the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act went into effect in December 2008, there have been no reported fatalities involving a child being entrapped on a suction outlet cover in a public pool or spa.

Campaign Video Assets

Below are Pool Safely campaign videos available for download:

Pool Safely PSAs for Download

Below is a link to the website where Pool Safely’s past and current TV PSA campaigns are housed. PSAs are in both English and Spanish and available for download:

Branded Campaign Images

The following photos are available for download. Please credit all photos courtesy of the Pool Safely Campaign:

Statistics on Child Drownings

Racial Disparities in Water Safety

While recent national data from the USA Swimming Foundation show a 5-10 percent increase in swimming abilities among young people, children in minority communities continue to have disproportionately no/low swimming ability.

According to the USA Swimming Foundation data:

64% of African-American children

45% of Hispanic children and 40% of Caucasian children have no/low swimming ability.

65% of African-American children

would like to swim more than they do

If parents have no/low swimming ability

there's a high likelihood their children won't have good swimming skills (78% for African-American children, 62% among Hispanic/Latino children and 67% for Caucasian children)

Children who are afraid of drowning

are 67% more likely to have low/no swimming ability

African-American children and their parents

are 3x more fearful of drowning than Caucasian children and parents

For more information on USA Swimming Foundation’s data, please click here.

According to CDC:

African-American children aged 5-19

are 5.5x more likely to drown than white children

African-American children ages 11-12 years

drown in swimming pools at 10x the rate of whites

For more information on CDC data, please click here.

Pool Safely Educational Materials

Pool Safely offers many materials which promote water safety.

clipboard with pool safely materials.
From tip cards offering water safety tips, to water watcher cards with lanyards to temporary tattoos of children, these educational materials are free to order and make it simple to share water safety information. Order Materials