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Efforts Underway to Address Pool Safety, New Funding Available

Skyler Ewing/Alamy Stock Photo Skyler Ewing/Alamy Stock Photo
There are efforts underway in the pool industry to address the safe use of pools, along with new funding available from the Spa Safety Act.

As part of a new campaign around pool safety, millions of dollars will now be on the table to beef up injury prevention efforts as the summer pool season gets well underway across the United States. The money is being made available by Pool Safely to reduce childhood drownings, submersion injuries, and entrapments.

Local jurisdictions may apply for the grant money, which is made possible by the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.

“CPSC is proud to be able to help states and municipalities with these funds to support their water safety efforts. The Virginia Graeme Baker Act grants can potentially save lives through enforcement of pool safety laws, informing the public about entrapment dangers and other education to prevent drowning,” said CPSC Chair Alex Hoehn-Saric. “I urge states and municipalities to take advantage of this opportunity to help their own communities take on one of the leading causes of deaths for young children.”

The CPSC said grant applicants must be a state or local government or U. S. Territory that has enacted or amended a law that meets the requirements.

Since the passage of the Virginia Graeme Baker Act in 2007, the CPSC has extended over $5 million in grants to dozens of recipients.

“Child drowning rates and nonfatal drowning injuries among children under 15 years old remain high, and water safety vigilance is as important as ever this summer for parents and caregivers,” said Hoehn-Saric. “Whether a child is playing in a community pool, a neighbor’s pool, or your own, we urge parents and caregivers to prepare their children for water-related activities by reviewing Pool Safely tips and signing up for swim lessons this summer. Working together, we can help reduce pool- and spa-related fatalities.”

Applications will be accepted through June 20, 2022. Interested parties can learn more about how to apply for the grant money here at CPSC’s website.

Ongoing pool safety efforts by industry leaders

Javier Payan, the CEO of Payan Pool Service, has been an industry leader in pool safety efforts in the pool industry.

Payan said many in the industry have wanted to put the topic aside but he was very driven at trying to mend the rift between pool-safety advocates and the pool industry. 

"I remember the attitudes of our association when we would bring up topics about safety," Payan said. "The general sentiment was, 'well we don't talk about safety because you could be held liable because of a drowning or something like that.'"

Payan said he always thought that wasn't the right attitude and said the pool industry should be proactive about the safe use of their products. 

"I was able to change the minds of a lot of my peers," Payan said, who added that it was an uphill battle. 

Payan said many in the industry wanted to put the topic aside but he was very driven at trying to mend the rift between pool-safety advocates and the pool industry. 

He recommends that pool companies provide customers with resources to safety information from official sources, like the National Drowning Prevention Alliance.

Watch PoolSpaPro.com's full interview with Payan about drowning prevention efforts here, from the International Pool Spa Patio Expo.

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