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    Commercial Pools in Texas Pose Safety Hazard, Say Techs

    Commercial pool operators throughout Texas are allowing hazardous pools to remain open, despite warnings, according to various sources

     
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    Aquatech Relocating to Vegas

    After decades in the Golden State, one of the industry’s leading buying groups is leaving California

     
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    Olympians Show Off New Suits

    America’s best swimmers will head into 2012 competitions outfitted in the newest “high-tech” swimsuit, designed for maximum performance within the constraints of  FINA rules imposed two years ago

     
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    Pool Pros Lobbying for CPSC Rule Reversal

    Industry representatives are trying to persuade the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to reverse a recent decision involving the federal pool and spa safety law

     
  • VGBA DéjàVu

    Lately, I’ve been having a serious case of déjà vu, that uncanny, eerie feeling that you’ve been there before.

     
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    City Settles Discrimination Lawsuit with Former Lifeguard

    Ocean City, N.J., has agreed to a monetary settlement with a former Beach Patrol lifeguard, who sued claiming age discrimination

     
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    Half of U.S. Pools Show Poor Water Chemistry

    Almost half of the pools tested through the summer 2011 Healthy Pools campaign showed improper water chemistry

     
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    Scuba Diving May Help Spinal Injuries

    Scuba diving may benefit those with spinal cord injuries.

     
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    Swim Coach Gets Jail Time for Sex with Underage Girl

    An Orange County Calif., swim coach was sentenced to 16 months in state prison for having sex with a 15-year-old female student, according to authorities

     
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    CPSC Sets Drain Comment Deadline

    The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is now accepting comments regarding the deadline for newly required commercial-drain retrofits.

     
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    No Charges for Fall River Drowning Workers

    In a court hearing last week, no charges were issued against two Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation managers formerly in charge of operating the pool where 36-year-old Marie Joseph drowned

     
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    New Sex Abuse Lawsuit Hits USA Swimming

    A family of a teenage girl has filed a new sexual abuse lawsuit against USA Swimming, Indiana Swimming and Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township

     
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    Drain Cover Manufacturer Ends Recall-Related Program

    AquaStar Pool Products has ended its authorized installer program, created to carry out terms of the Consumer Product Safety Commission recall announced in May 2011

     
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    Death Linked to Shallow Water Blackout

    A Tasmanian free diver has died, apparently due to what’s known as shallow water blackout.

     
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    RWI Outbreaks Jump 72 Percent

    As one indication of how far the industry still has to go in efforts to prevent recreational water illnesses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in September a 72 percent increase in outbreaks over the previous two-year tally — and th

     
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    States Enact More Stringent Spraypark Regulations

    As sprayparks — and awareness of their potential for recreational water illness — become more prevalent, more and more states are enacting tougher regulations specifically aimed at the facilities.

     
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    Summer Swim Season Makes Headlines

    Wasn’t it just yesterday that you were hiring guards for summer 2011? Now the year is fast becoming a memory. In case you forgot, here’s a look back at what made headlines, and how it might affect the new year.

     
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    DA Releases Final Report on Mass. Drowning, Seeks Criminal Charges 

    The Bristol County (Mass..) District Attorney has released a final report on the June drowning death of Marie Joseph and, as of press time, criminal charges were being sought against two individuals employed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation

     
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    OSHA Investigating Rare Lightning Strike Death

    The Occupational Health and Safety Administration office in Tampa, Fla., is investigating the death of 21-year-old Justin Inversso, who was working as a lifeguard at Adventure Island when he was struck by lightning in September

     
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    MAHC Moving Forward

    Those charged with developing the Model Aquatic Health Code anticipate that all but three modules are likely to be ready for public comment by the end of the year.

     
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    Spectators Gone Wild! 

    Back in the mid-1980s, I was asked to develop and implement a K-12 swim lessons program for the school system.

     
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    Patterns of Abuse 

    While aquatics programming provides some of the greatest opportunities for youth development, it also presents some of the highest risk factors

     
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    Follow the Leaders

    We know that engaging minority groups in aquatics programs is a national issue, but how can we help reduce the drowning and water-related injury statistics among these groups?

     
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    Prevention Efforts

    Aquatics professionals can play a big role in protecting swimmers against a preventable drowning death as a result of dangerous breath-holding. Here are four tips from Gareth Hedges, associate general counsel for The Redwoods Group in Morrisville, N.C.

     
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    Identifying the Problem

    The people who succumb to this quiet killer often are stronger swimmers than the lifeguards on duty.

     
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    Blackout Victims

    It was just supposed to be some fun and exercise the afternoon that Drew Brislen, 40, went out free diving in the Pacific Ocean off Picnic Beach, which is part of Laguna Beach, Calif.

     
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    Deathly Shallows

    They were supposed to make headlines as heroes. Instead they ended up on front pages around the world as victims.

     
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    A Call to Action

    I first started writing about the dangers of shallow water blackout in 1983, in my book

     
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    Maintaining Control

    Have you ever had thoughts like these: “Why does my controller sometimes seem to add too much chemical, while other times it doesn’t add enough? Why does my controller seem to be out of control? Is there a better, more predictable way of doing this?”

     
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    Profile: West Morris YMCA:Four

    Today the West Morris YMCA in Randolph, N.J., offers more than 30 aquatic fitness classes

     
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    Profile: Willamalane Park District:Five

    The Willamalane Park District near Eugene, Ore., opened the

     
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    The Aquatics X Factor:One

    In the summer of 1936, 40,000 people were on hand when New York’s Red Hook pool opened

     
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    Marketing Fitness:Two

    Work with local medical practices.

     
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    Business Sense:Three

    Here are four areas to consider in looking at an aquatics operation as a business.

     
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    Rx for Aquatic Health

    As a physician and aquatic researcher, I have seen firsthand the absolutely amazing effects that water can have in recovering and promoting health across the age span and across many, many clinical situations.

     
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    Up to the Test?

    The main objective of swim testing is to identify swimming ability so nonswimmers can be kept out of high-risk areas. Upon identification, properly trained lifeguards can provide nonswimmers with tools to help provide for their safety in the water

     
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    Collision Course

    I was hired five months before the crew completed construction of the university’s new aquatics center, so I could make sure everything was good from an operator’s standpoint.

     
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    CPSC Vote Elicits Partisan Wrangling

    Last month, the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s voting commissioners moved to change the definition of an unblockable drain to require that the sump, in addition to the drain cover, measure more than 18-by-23-inches and meet 

     
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    International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo Expands Offerings

    The International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo offers a range of new classes and events this year, along with a number of old favorites.

     
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    After a Rash of Deaths, USA Triathlon Forms Task Force

    After losing five competitors following several recent races, USA Triathlon is establishing a committee to determine what can be done to prevent additional deaths.

     
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    Crypto Outbreaks Close Out Pool Season

    A number of recreational water illness outbreaks were reported during summer 2011, and experts say that record hot weather — including a July heat wave which hit 23 states — may mean a larger number of cases this year.

     
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    Summer Drownings Spur Call to Action

    Most seasonal pools are now closed, but those working on drowning prevention efforts are still on the job

     
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    Leading Manufacturer Sheds Pool and Spa Unit

    A major industry manufacturer has sold its decades-old pool and spa pump motors division.

     
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    Entrapment Claims Dropped from Suit

    Splash! At Lively Park waterpark in 1989

     
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    AI to Host Third Annual Virtual Conference

    On Nov. 8, Aquatics International will launch “The Aquatics X Factor — Unleash the Power of Water.

     
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    Red Cross Wants to Negotiate Prices

    In the wake of announcing new fees that have rankled many aquatics professionals, the American Red Cross held a special meeting with a group of California aquatics leaders to address concerns and assure them that the organization is willing to be flexible

     
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    Addicted to Subsidies?

    Nationwide we continue to hear the latest news: Public facilities closed due to city, county and state financial challenges.

     
  • The Aquatics X Factor

    The email came with an air of desperation, but also, it turns out, the seeds of inspiration.

     
  • On Guard? 

    Imagine the worst case scenario at an aquatics facility. If you’re like most professionals, that probably ends with a drowning death

     
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    CPSC Ruling Upends VGBA Drain Requirements

    The Consumer Product Safety Commission has voted to restrict allowances given to unblockable drain covers in the federal pool and spa safety law.

     
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    Waterpark Vendors Hit in Data Breach

    Guests who used credit and debit cards at two Midwestern waterpark resorts may have been vulnerable to a security breach

     
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    Senior Communities Help Revitalize Pool Construction

    What’s old is new again.

     
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    USA Swimming Names National Team

    USA Swimming has announced the 2011-2012 National Team roster and it includes a number of legends

     
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    International Waterpark Development Lifts Market

    These days, anyone looking for the next big waterpark would be well advised to start their search overseas.

     
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    Fall River Drowning Reveals Larger Issues

    The bizarre and disturbing Fall River drowning in which a woman’s body was not discovered until more than two days after she drowned has revealed deeper flaws in Massachusetts’ pool regulations. 

     
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    Lifeguard Killed by Lightning Strike

    A lifeguard was killed when he was struck by lightning earlier this month

     
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    Recall Enforcement Remains Uncertain

    It’s been just over three months since the industry’s largest-ever product recall, and enforcement issues are surfacing.

     
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    Red Cross Fee Increases Create Anger, Confusio

    The American Red Cross abruptly rolled out a series of changes to its programs that include a new fee structure that many industry professionals say is unmanageable at a time of such economic uncertainty.

     
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    Most Don’t Shower Before Swimming

    The majority of the public fails to shower before entering the water at a commercial aquatics facility, suggests widely reported new research.

     
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    Aquatics International Honors Standout Aquatics Facilities

    Aquatics International magazine is honoring 13 world-class aquatics facilities this November, in its 13th annual Best of Aquatics issue. Each year the contest celebrates outstanding facilities of all varieties— including government, nonprofit and privatel

     
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    World Conference Takes Aim at Drowning 

    More than 420 delegates representing 49 countries attended the first-ever World Conference on Drowning Prevention, held in Vietnam this May.

     
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    Investigation into Horrific Drowning Leads Four to Resign

    It’s been two months since a drowning death that went unnoticed for more than two days in Fall River, Mass., garnered national headlines.

     
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    Candid Camera 

    These days, social media encompasses every aspect of life. It also allows adolescents and teens to be expressive.

     
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    Emergency Training

    CPR training is an essential component of any comprehensive lifeguard training program. However, even with quality comprehensive initial training, research indicates that CPR skills decline quickly

     
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    The Right Mix

    We have worked very hard to provide aquatic leadership that is reflective of our diverse community.

     
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    Hitting the Target:One

    Bienvenidos!

     
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    The Big Picture:Two

    As an individual operator looking to expand your market, it can be helpful to understand industrywide growth trends, especially given the current economy.

     
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    A Corrosive Environment

    Corrosion is only one of the destructive forces acting in and around waterparks and aquatics facilities.

     
  • The 2011 It List

    What makes a waterpark great? For five years now, we’ve showcased the best of the best in our annual it Book, and one thing is clear: The world’s top waterparks go above and beyond when it comes to amenities, commitment to guest service and theming.

     
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    Colorado Outbreak Prompts Warnings at 41 Pools

    Several confirmed cases of a recreational water illness have prompted the Pueblo City-County (Colorado) Health Department to post warnings at all pools in the county

     
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    Report: Waterpark Resort Growth Slowest In Decade

    The recession continues to impact waterpark resort development and a report from Cleveland-based Hotel Leisure Advisors, LLC indicates growth this year is the slowest in a decade

     
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    New Study Links Pool DBPs to Cancer, Birth Defects

    Pool patrons may risk exposure to a chlorine-byproduct linked with cancer and birth defects, according to new research

     
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    CPSC Approves Successor Drain Standard

    In a unanimous vote the Consumer Product Safety Commission has approved a new drain cover standard.

     
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    Best of Aquatics Call for Entries Announced

    Aquatics International is currently accepting entries for our 2011 Best of Aquatics contest, which celebrates the industry’s outstanding pools and waterparks — including public, private and nonprofit operations.

     
  • The Recall: Really!?!

    That’s the name of a popular “Saturday Night Live” skit in which “anchor” Seth Meyers reports the latest news of the day with incredulous skepticism and disgust.

     
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    Lifeguard Texting Spells Trouble

    What’s your policy on lifeguard cell phone use? Last summer, media outlets across the nation called attention to a potentially deadly practice: lifeguards texting while on duty.

     
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    Recall Enforcement Raises Questions

    It’s been nearly two months since the industry’s largest-ever product recall, and enforcement remains uncertain.

     
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    Energy Auditing Course to Launch

    A new online course is launching this month, to teach aquatics professionals how to evaluate the energy consumption of pools or spas.

     
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    Swimmer’s Ear Costs Half a Billion

    Swimmer’s ear costs nearly $500 million in annual health care costs and accounts for close to 2.4 million in doctor visits annually, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

     
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    IAPMO Withdraws from Drain Standard

    On the heels of a federal investigation into safety drain covers that raised questions about a testing agency’s methods and led to a massive recall of drain covers, the agency in question has officially withdrawn from its co-leadership position on a

     
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    Drain Cover Recall Leaves Questions, Confusion

    Aquatics professionals were left scrambling in the wake of a pre-Memorial Day weekend federal recall of approximately 1 million drain covers — and wondering about timing and cost of the action.

     
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    California Seeks Comments on Pool Standards Update

    The California Building Standards Commission has issued a proposed building code for commercial pools and waterparks on behalf of the California Department of Public Health.

     
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    CDC Announces RWI Prevention Video contest

    To help prevent the spread of germs at recreational water venues (such as pools, lakes, and waterparks), CDC is asking the public to educate swimmers by making a short, creative video that promotes the simple steps everyone can take to ensure a healthy sw

     
  • Graphic by Tim Bobko

    Emergency Action

    On the 70th day of a 79-day season, what most of us thought was a regular Sunday at Saxon Woods Pool in White Plains, N.Y., turned into a day we would never forget.

     
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    CPSC Reveals Summer Drowning Stats, Problem States

    The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Pool Safely: Simple Steps Save Lives campaign released its 2011 summer snapshot of the number of drowning and near-drowning incidents across America.

     
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    Popular Resort Sued for Entrapment

    The family of an entrapment victim has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Sandals Resorts International and several manufacturers.

     
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    Few Parents Enforce Shower-Before-Pool Rules that Prevent Illness from Waterparks

    Waterparks offer families a chance to have fun and be physically active.

     
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    Drain Cover Standard Undergoes Changes

    The safety standard for suction outlet covers is under review and the committee making changes is near completion.

     
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    Bizarre Drowning Leads to Mass Pool Closing, Investigation

    Massachusetts closed 30 public pools (including four in Worcester County) temporarily after a woman’s body was found floating in a public pool in Fall River recently.

     
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    Shigella Cases Lead to Strict Toddler Pool Rules

    Children in Northern Kentucky who are not potty trained must stay out of public pools, even when wearing swim diapers.

     
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    ARC Debuts New Training Initiative

    The American Red Cross recently launched a new health and safety training initiative, featuring a two-year certification for first aid and CPR.

     
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    Industry Feels Strain of Recall

    The largest recall in industry history has stretched aquatics facilities to the breaking point.

     
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    Splash Pads Under Strict New Rules

    Spray parks in one Midwestern state are now under the same guidelines as pools.

     
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    APSP Model Code Moves Toward Completion

    The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals and the International Code Council are continuing to move forward on development of a new model code.

     
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    Drownings Underreported, Safety Groups Say

    As a result of ongoing concerns regarding the underreporting of drownings in metropolitan areas, safety groups across the country are taking action.

     
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    CPSC Issues Massive Drain Cover Recall

    Editor’s Note: Aquatics International will continue to update this story as it develops. Please check back regularly for updates.

     
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    Budget Deficits Threaten Public Pools

    As swim season shifts into high gear, it appears public pools areonce again fighting for existence, as communities wrestle with ongoing budget issues.

     
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    USA Swimming Partners With Sex Abuse Educator

    USA Swimming is partnering with the firm Praesidium, a national leader in sex abuse risk management, to develop a comprehensive athlete protection education program.

     
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    MAHC Module Up for Public Comment

    Individuals from across the industry have been working with experts at the Centers for Disease Control to develop a Model Aquatic Health Code.

     
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    NDPA Taps New Leader

    Less than a month after losing its executive director, a leading water safety organization has named a replacement.