A number of industry groups recently were awarded
millions of dollars in federal contracts to provide
training and education on drowning prevention, as well as
swimming pool and spa safety.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission last month
provided funding to the Association of Pool & Spa
Professionals ($363,760), the Northeast Spa & Pool
Association ($239,151), the National Drowning Prevention
Alliance ($1,286,100) and Safe Kids Worldwide ($559,931)
among others, for various programs to be administered
nationwide over the next year under the Virginia Graeme
Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.
“The contracts extend the reach of the Pool
Safely campaign to educate and inform the public about pool
and spa safety and enhance compliance with section
1404,” said Kathleen Reilly CPSC public affairs
The National Swimming Pool Foundation, working in
concert with contract recipient Erica Lane Enterprises,
already has conducted the first safety event, which was
geared toward public health inspectors, pool and spa
operators, aquatic facility managers and the media.
Held during the World Aquatic Health Conference in
Colorado Springs, Colo., in early October, the three-hour
course consisted of training, education materials, and a
Q&A session with a CPSC representative. Topics
included an overview of the VGB Act, the five types of
entrapment, suction outlets, understanding flow rates, and
Many other programming details still must be hammered
out and coordinated between the various organizations and
CPSC, officials said. However, some specifics have begun to
The NDPA, for instance, will divide its curriculum
between a national media campaign (outreach, PSAs, a
training video, etc.) aimed at both consumers and the pool
industry, and a certification program for residential pool
and spa safety technicians, according to NDPA spokeswoman
Maureen Williams. The techs, when requested, would provide
homeowners with information on drowning-prevention and
general backyard safety, Williams said.
For its part Safe Kids USA plans initiatives on the
state and local levels. According to Tanya Chin Ross, Safe
Kids’ director, public policy, activities are
likely to include:
- Coalition-based grants (pilot grants to conduct
residential pool inspections, grants to facilitate the
distribution of rapid response kits, and grants to
enable educational training).
- Development and distribution of educational
materials and associated safety equipment.
- Public education and media outreach.
“Safe Kids is excited to be a recipient of a
pool and spa safety contract,” said Ross.
“As Safe Kids has a long history with the CPSC and
the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act, we
feel fortunate to continue our work to bring awareness to
this law along with promoting other pool and safety
Meantime, the APSP and NESPA will offer VGB training and
information to health and building code officials, pool
operators and lifeguards, officials said.