Consumer Agency Targets Swimming Pool Safety

July 29, 2004

As part of its efforts to reduce the rate of child drownings, and deaths and injuries due to entrapments in pool and spa suction outlets, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is holding public hearings this summer on pool and spa safety.

Today’s hearing is in Phoenix, Ariz. The first hearing was held in Tampa, Fla., on June 21, 2004.

CPSC wants to imrpove pool safety guidelines and to raise awareness of the drowning problem in the U.S.

“Arizonans are on the frontlines of swimming pool safety, and have made preventing pool drowning deaths a high-priority issue,” said CPSC chairman Hal Stratton. “We’re looking forward to getting their perspective on what CPSC can do nationally to reduce the number of drowning deaths.”

In recent years, an average of about 250 children under age 5 drowned annually in swimming pools nationwide. Drowning has been a leading cause of death from unintentional injuries to children under 5 years old. CPSC has set a strategic goal to reduce the rate of drownings of children under age 5 by 10 percent over the next 10 years.

CPSC invited local, state and federal legislators, building code officials, emergency first responders, community groups, interest groups, and leaders of the pool and spa industry to attend the hearing and provide their recommendations to the Commission.

CPSC is in the process of revising its Guidelines for Entrapment Hazards: Making Pools and Spas Safer, originally published in 1998. The guidelines provide pool and spa owners with CPSC’s recommendations on actions they should take to eliminate the potential for suction entrapment or hair entanglement in pools and spas. A draft of the updated entrapment hazard guidelines and information about all types of drowning prevention can be found at CPSC’s Web site at

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