Pointing to more than 210 children either drowning or hurt at pools and spas nationwide since Memorial Day, the CPSC announced the centerpiece of its pool safety program -- YouTube videos and an online game. The consumer agency teamed up with Safe Kids USA and the National Drowning Prevention Alliance for the program.
"These statistics are a wake-up call and a reminder that these tragic incidents are preventable," says CPSC Chairman Inez M. Tenenbaum in a statement. The California-based National Drowning Prevention Alliance says that drowning is the second-leading cause of death of children ages 1 to 4 in the United States. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that drowning is the leading cause of injury death among children of that age group.
The pool safety program's videos are narrated by TV and movie actress Ming-Na, the voice of Disney's "Mulan" and a star of the NBC hospital drama "ER." Those videos can be seen on YouTube, Safe Kids and the National Drowning Prevention Alliance sites.
A second part of the education program is an interactive, online game that will be posted on the government's Pool Safely site as well as the two group sites. CPSC spokesman Kristofer Eisenla tells Consumer Ally that the interactive game -- in which parents and children learn to spot pool and spa safety dangers and how to avoid them -- will debut on the websites next week.
The Pool Safely program recommends following safety steps including:
- Supervising children and never leaving them unattended.
- Teach children basic water safety and how to swim.
- Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to keep them from the possibility of getting trapped.
- Keep a phone handy when using a pool or spa for emergency calls.
- Look in the pool or spa first if a child is missing.