Follow us:
  1. Home
  2. News
  3. Home and Living News
  4. Swimming Pools

Swimming Pools and Pool Safety

Custom Molded Products recalls valve caps sold with hot tubs/swim spas

The valve cover can pop off and strike a bystander, posing an impact hazard

Custom Molded Products of Newnan, Ga., is recalling about 16,000 diverter valve caps sold with Master Spas (an Accredited Partner) hot tubs and swim spas.

The valve cap can become loose, pop off and strike a bystander, posing an impact hazard.

The firm has received 112 reports of the valve caps popping off including four reports of consumers being struck by the cap. No injuries have been reported.

This recall involves 2-inch diverter valve caps sold with certain Master Spa...

Not sure how to choose?

Get expert buying tips about Swimming Pools and Pool Safety delivered to your inbox.

    Thank you, you have successfully subscribed to our newsletter! Enjoy reading our tips and recommendations.

    We value your privacy. Unsubscribe easily.

    Recent Articles

    Sort by:

    Nidec Motor recalls swimming pool motors

    The pump control cover can be improperly grounded, posing an electrical shock hazard

    Nidec Motor Corp., of St. Louis, Mo., is recalling about 16,000 swimming pool motors sold in the U.S. and Canada.

    The pump control cover can be improperly grounded, posing an electrical shock hazard.

    No incidents or injuries have been reported.

    This recall involves variable speed swimming pool motors with a programmable user interface on the top.

    “Emerson” or “EcoTech EZ” is printed on top of the control box and the model number is printed on the rating plate located on the side of the pump.

    The following model numbers are included in this recall:

    Model Numbers

    M63PWBLE-0121

    M63PWBLM-0128

    M63PWBLR-0131

    M63PWBLS-0132

    M63PWBLV-0135

    M63PWBLW-0136

    M63XZBMA-0139

    M63PWBMB-0140

    M63PWBMC-0141

    M63PWBMD-0142

    M63PWBME-0143

    M63PWBMF-0144

    M63PWBMG-0145

    M63PWBSC-0229

    The motors, manufactured in Mexico, were sold at Leslie’s Pool Supply and other retail stores, wholesale pool suppliers including Pool Builders Supply, Pool Corp., Pool & Electrical Products, and United Aqua Group from September 2010, through October 2016, for between $400 and $500.

    What to do

    Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled swimming pool motors and contact Nidec Motor Corp. (NMC) to schedule a free repair by a qualified technician to install an external ground lead.

    Consumers may contact NMC toll-free at 877-282-0223 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (EST) Monday through Friday or online at www.nidec-motor.com and click on “RECALL” for more information.

     

     

    Nidec Motor Corp., of St. Louis, Mo., is recalling about 16,000 swimming pool motors sold in the U.S. and Canada.The pump control cover can be improper...

    Hazardous chemicals found on many pool toys and swimming aids

    A study finds that some distinctive smells can tip off consumers about whether a product is safe

    Summertime is fast approaching, and for many consumers that means plenty of quality family time at the pool. But are your pool toys and swimming aids safe for you and your loved ones?

    A new study finds that many inflatable toys and swimming aids, like bathing rings and arm bands, may be treated with a range of chemicals that can be hazardous to your health. Researchers say that chemical compounds such as cyclohexanone, phenol, and isophorone may be present in especially high concentrations on children’s toys.

    "Modern products such as toys and children's products are sourced from a wide variety of chemical and physical manufacturing processes, and this complexity often makes it difficult for us to identify those containing contaminants and unwanted substances, and to determine their causes," said researcher Christoph Wiedmer.

    Follow your nose

    Wiedmer explains that many of the chemical substances are dangerous because they have unstable structures. This can result in a host of problems, “such as irriation, smell nuisance, or other physiological and psychosomatic effects,” he said. Cyclohexanone and phenol are known to be harmful when inhaled, and isophorone has been classified as a category 2 carcinogen.

    However, the researchers point out that there is a way for consumers to detect these chemicals. All you have to do, they say, is follow your nose. “We found that in a number of cases our noses can guide us to ‘sniff out’ problematic products,” said Wiedmer.

    So, which smells should tip you off? Wiedmer and fellow researcher Andrea Buettner tested the molecular make-up of the “distinctive smells” that came from various pool toys and found that between 32 and 46 odors were detected from each sample, with 13 being described as "intense." A panel of volunteers set to smelling each product to see what each product odor reminded them of.

    Participants reported that three of the products reminded them of almonds, plastic, and rubber, while a fourth product reminded them of glue or nail polish. Consumers that experience these or other suspicious odors would be wise to research their products to make sure they are safe to use.

    The team's full study has been published in Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry.

    Summertime is fast approaching, and for many consumers that means plenty of quality family time at the pool. But are your pool toys and swimming aids safe...

    S.R. Smith recalls Helix pool slides

    A child can fall off the side of the slide before reaching the pool entry point

    S.R. Smith of Canby, Ore., is recalling about 800 Helix pool slides.

    A child can fall off the side of the slide before reaching the pool entry point, posing a fall hazard that can result in serious injury.

    The firm has received 16 reports of users falling from the slide, resulting in 15 reports of injuries including a 4-year-old girl who sustained a concussion. Other reports included damaged/loosened teeth, cuts to the chin that required stitches, bruising and scrapes.

    This recall involves Helix residential pool slides with serial numbers from SR-HX13-01001 to SR-HX13-01488 and SR-HX14-01001 to SR-HX14-01602. “S.R. Smith,” “Helix” and the serial number are on the product label located on the top right side of the slide near the staircase rail. The recalled slides are 7-feet, 4 inches-tall at the highest point and have a helix (corkscrew) shape to its slide or flume.

    The slides, manufactured in the U.S., were sold at In The Swim, Leslies Swimming Pool Supply, SCP Distributors and other pool product distributors nationwide and online at Amazon.com and Intheswim.com between May 2013, and March 2015, for about $3,000.

    What to do

    Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled slides and contact S.R. Smith for a free slide rail extension kit that will increase the height of the rail sides. Consumers can install the extension kit or contact S.R. Smith for a one-time, free installation of the kit.

    Consumers may contact S.R. Smith at 800-611-4750 from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (PT) Monday through Friday, by email at helixslideinfo@srsmith.com, or online at www.srsmith.com.

     

     

    S.R. Smith of Canby, Ore., is recalling about 800 Helix pool slides.A child can fall off the side of the slide before reaching the pool entry point, po...

    Majority of public pools fail at least one safety test, CDC finds

    Some cases warranted immediate closure

    As warmer weather approaches, public swimming pools will inevitably begin to repopulate. But while taking a dip may be a fun way to beat the heat, the activity may not be as sanitary as you might hope.

    A three-year CDC investigation found that 78.9% of swimming pools failed at least one safety test. The study, which began in 2013, inspected swimming pools in five states including Arizona, California, New York, Florida, and Texas.

    pH levels and safety equipment

    The results of 12.3% of these examinations -- which also included spas and hot tubs -- led to the immediate closure of the area.

    Women’s Health reports that in 14.9% of cases, irritating pH levels were cause for concern; another 12.7% of pools had safety equipment violations that could increase the risk of drowning.

    Pool chemical-associated health events land many swimmers in the emergency room each year, while drowning remains the second-leading cause of injury deaths in children aged 1 to 4.

    The CDC notes that approximately half of fatal drownings in this age group happen in swimming pools. Pools with fences can help reduce the risk of a child drowning, as can teaching children how to swim before the age of 5.

    Additionally, there are a few steps adults can take to ensure that the pool water itself is safe. 

    What to do

    The report notes that “only 68% of U.S. local public health agencies regulate, inspect, or license public aquatic facilities,” so consumers may want to take pool safety into their own hands.

    One way to reduce the risk of a pH level-related health issue is to test the water yourself. Bring pH strips to see if the water’s pH is between 6 and 8. Other ways to protect yourself from pool irritants include wearing goggles while swimming, never drinking the water, and showering afterward. 

    Consumers can also ask pool staff when the pool was last inspected.

    As warmer weather approaches, public swimming pools will inevitably begin to repopulate. But while taking a dip may be a fun way to beat the heat, the acti...

    Anchor Industries recalls safety pool covers

    The hooks used to connect the cover’s cables to the wall can break

    Anchor Industries of Evansville, Ind., is recalling about 350 safety pool covers.

     

    The brass-plated snap hooks used to connect the cover’s cables to the wall can break, posing a drowning risk.

     

    The firm has received 20 reports of snap hook failure. No injuries have been reported.

     

    This recall involves mesh and solid-material Anchor 5-Star, Anchor Mesh, Classic Solid and Defender Mesh brand custom safety pool covers. The covers’ cables are connected to the pool wall using brass-plated snap hooks with a gold-tone spring tab, a seam and a hook end with a bezel.

     

    The date of manufacture appears on the warning label on the underside of each pool cover. Manufacture dates of “Sep 14,” “Oct 14” and “Nov 14” are subject to the recall. “Manufactured by Anchor Industries, Inc.” also appears on the label.
     

    The pool covers, manufactured in the U.S., were sold at independent pool supply stores and dealers nationwide from September 2014, to November 2014, for about $3,000.

     

    What to do

     

    Consumers should immediately contact their pool cover dealer to schedule an inspection and replacement of the snap hooks.

     

    Consumers may contact Anchor Industries toll-free at 800-255-5552 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CT) Monday through Friday or online at http://anchorinc.com/products/safety-pool-covers/safety-pool-covers for more information.

     

     

    Anchor Industries of Evansville, Ind., is recalling about 350 safety pool covers. The brass-plated snap hooks used to connect the cover’s cables to...

    Trident Recalls ultraviolet sanitation systems for pools

    Electrical arcing can cause the units to catch fire

    Trident Ultraviolet Corp., of Marina del Rey, Calif., is recalling about 3,660 Trident Series 2 Ultraviolet Sanitation Systems for pools.

    Electrical arcing can cause the units to catch fire.

    There have been 38 reports of the sanitation systems melting and or catching fire, one burn injury to a consumer’s hand and about $23,000 in property damage reported.

    This recall involves all Trident Series 2 ultraviolet sanitation systems for pools. The sanitation system is a gray tube that stands 32 inches high by 11 inches in diameter. It is plumbed into the pool’s water circulation pipes and plugged in or hard-wired into an electrical system. The pool’s water runs through the unit and is sanitized by ultraviolet lamps. This is a secondary sanitation system used in conjunction with chemical sanitizers such as chlorine or bromine.

    “Trident Ultraviolet Corporation,” “Series 2” and “UV Ultraviolet Sanitation System” are printed on a black label on the front of the units. “Trident Series 2 Ultraviolet Water Treatment System” and a series of letters for the date code are printed on a silver sticker on the units. Go to www.uvrecall.org to determine if the date code is included in the recall.

    The systems, manufactured in the U.S. and China, were sold at pool companies nationwide from February 2009, through September 2013, for about $600.

    Consumers should immediately unplug the units from the outlet, or if hard-wired, the power source should be disconnected or turned off at the circuit breaker. Contact Trident for a free repair kit.

    Consumers may contact Trident toll-free at (855) 522-8200 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday or by email at assistance@uvrecall.org.

    Trident Ultraviolet Corp., of Marina del Rey, Calif., is recalling about 3,660 Trident Series 2 Ultraviolet Sanitation Systems for pools. Electrical arcin...

    What not to do in the pool this summer

    Have you ever wondered if it's safe to pee in the pool? Here's the answer

    Despite the tardy arrival of springlike weather in much of the country, thoughts invariably turn towards such summer pleasures as backyard barbecues and afternoons in the pool. 

    Pool safety is important, and so is etiquette. Your mother probably told you not to pee in the pool. And you know what? She was right.

    Even though everyday swimmers and Olympians alike admit to the practice, researchers now say that there's scientific evidence that argues against pool peeing.

    They report that when mixed, urine and chlorine can form substances that can cause potential health problems. Their study appears in the American Chemical Society journal Environmental Science & Technology.

    Jing Li, Ernest Blatchley, III, and colleagues note that adding chlorine to pool water is the most common way to kill disease-causing microbes and prevent swimmers from getting sick.

    But as people swim, splash, play — and pee — in the pool, chlorine mixes with sweat and urine and makes other substances. Two of these compounds, including trichloramine (NCl3) and cyanogen chloride (CNCl), are ubiquitous in swimming pools.

    The first one is associated with lung problems, and the second one can also affect the lungs, as well as the heart and central nervous system. But scientists have not yet identified all of the specific ingredients in sweat and urine that could cause these potentially harmful compounds to form.

    So Li's team looked at how chlorine interacts with uric acid, a component of sweat and urine.

    They mixed uric acid and chlorine, and within an hour, both NCl3 and CNCl formed. Though some uric acid comes from sweat, the scientists calculated that more than 90 percent of the compound in pools comes from urine.

    They conclude that swimmers can improve pool conditions by simply urinating where they're supposed to — in the bathrooms.

    The study was funded by the Chinese Universities Scientific Fund, the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the National Swimming Pool Foundation.

    Despite the tardy arrival of springlike weather in much of the country, thoughts invariably turn towards such summer pleasures as backyard barbecues and af...

    Trident pool gate latches recalled

    The latch may not secure the gate properly

    Nationwide Industries of Tampa, Fla., is recalling about 2,500 Trident pool gate latches.

    The magnet contained in the striker portion of the latch assembly can come loose, preventing the latch from securing a gate.

    No incidents or injuries have been reported.

    The recalled magnetic gate latches are 10” or 20” models in black or white, and are marked with the “Trident” name and image on the face of the latch body below the key hole. The latch body, which is typically attached to a fence post, contains a knob and a key cylinder on the uppermost portion and a recessed area on the bottom portion designed to engage and retain the striker. The striker, which contains the magnet, is typically attached to the active gate portion of a fence gate assembly, and moves with the gate as it is opened and closed. The Trident latches are frequently used to secure gates for pools.

    The latches, manufactured in China, were sold nationwide from February to October of 2013 to professional fence contractors, dealers and gate manufacturers for between $50 to $60.

    Consumers should contact Nationwide Industries for a replacement striker kit that can be installed with a Phillips head screwdriver.

    Consumers may contact Nationwide Industries at (800) 409-3901 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 pm ET Monday through Friday, use after-hours voicemail, or by e-mail at Striker@NationwideIndustries.com.

    Nationwide Industries of Tampa, Fla., is recalling about 2,500 Trident pool gate latches. The magnet contained in the striker portion of the latch assembl...

    Cool gadgets for the swimming pool

    IPool toys and gadgets have come a long way.

    There's just a little time to go until summer hits, which means families will be opening their home swimming pools throughout most of the United States.

    And more families using their swimming pools usually means they'll be using toys for their pools too, as kids love to play with things that inflate and use items that are specifically designed for the water.

    But today's pool toys have come a long way from the boring inflatable beach ball or the toy snorkel set. Now you can get a host of cool and unique gadgets for the pool that could make swimming that much better.

    Pool-sized motor boat

    Like what? Well, there's the Motorized Bumper Boat made by the company Banzai.

    It allows kids to travel up to two feet per second and they can battle and bump each other all day long. It comes with a motorized water blaster too, so kids can spray their friends while they steer the inflatable boat around the water.

    The Motorized Bumper Boat is battery-powered and recommended for children between the ages of 5 through 10. Amazon currently sells it for around $50 and based on reviews, the bumper boat is safe to use and seems pretty durable -- at least for something that's inflatable.

    Cleaning your pool

    Although the Jet Net Boat Pool Skimmer isn't really a toy, it's a cool gadget for the pool nonetheless.

    It gathers and collects all of those things in the pool that you want to get rid of like leaves, bugs and other small items for which people typically use a net.

    By remote control you can steer the boat where you want it to go and pick up the debris; everything is collected in the gadget's built-in net. From there you take the net out, empty it and put it back in for another cleaning.

    The Jet Net Boat Pool Skimmer goes for a little over $140 on Amazon and it's a great gadget for kids to use. You can get your children to clean the pool and they'll think they're just playing with a remote control boat. It's a win-win for everybody.

    For kids of all ages

    Then there's the Excalibur Blue Jet Racer for a little under $80. It's an inflatable jet ski for kids, made for the pool.

    It's designed for children ages 5 through 15 and there weren't any reviews from parents about their kids getting hurt on it. Apparently, the motor allows kids to move pretty slowly, so they won't be whipping around the pool, which would probably be bad. Still, some reviews say the inflatable jet ski should only be used for kids with good balance.

    Just like a real jet ski, the Blue Jet Racer can be difficult to stay on at first and it's not recommended for small children or those who aren't good swimmers.

    It's inflatable too, so consumers probably shouldn't expect it to last a lifetime. But kids should still be able to get a lot of use from it.

    For gamers

    Last on the list is the Floating Pool Pong Table for about $75, letting you and a friend have a serious Ping-Pong tournament without ever getting out of the pool.

    The creators of the table say the surface is hard, so you can do a slap-shot successfully. But the edges are soft and won't hurt the user or other swimmers who may run into it.

    It can be used outside the pool too, so if you want to move the game onto the deck of the pool or inside the house, you can. A multi-use table, if you will. The table is 27 inches wide and 54 high and recommended for children ages five and up.

    Getting new gadgets for the pool doesn't have to break the bank, and the kids should be able to get a lot of enjoyment out of them. 

    There's just a little time to go until summer hits, which means families will be opening their home swimming pools throughout most of the United States.A...

    Nearly 140 Child Drownings Reported in Summer 2012

    Initial summer drowning figures are only part of the annual toll

    Information compiled from media reports show 137 children younger than 15 years drowned in a pool or spa during the traditional summer season of Memorial Day to Labor Day this year. An additional 168 children of that age required emergency response for near-fatal incidents in pools or spas. 

    "These figures are a strong indication that child drownings are a serious public health problem," said U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. "We are losing too many children to drowning, tragically cutting short these young lives and leaving families devastated. While summer is ending, our vigilance in ensuring that all children pool safely must not end. With so many indoor community pools, hotel pools and spas, indoor waterparks, as well as outdoor pools that remain open in warm-weather states, we must continue our efforts to remind everyone to pool safely whenever they are near the water." 

    Young children at risk 

    The media figures show that 54 of these drownings occurred soon after the children left an adult who was in their immediate vicinity, and 31 children drowned despite the presence of others at the pool. 

    In addition, the media reports are consistent with CPSC's annual reports in showing that young children and toddlers are especially vulnerable to drowning -- at least 100 of the 137 children who drowned were younger than five. Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death among children one to four years of age. 

    Not every child drowning is reported on or tracked by the media. In turn, it takes time for CPSC to compile data of all child drownings from around the country. Each May, CPSC releases reports for drownings and non-fatal submersions for children younger than 15 years of age. Agency data from 2007 to 2009 show an annual average of 243 children drowned in pools or spas during the summer months, which is about 63 percent of the average annual drowning figures for these years. 

    CPSC's Pool Safely campaign message reinforces the important safety steps: stay close to children in the water, be alert, and watch children in and around the pool at all times. 

    Texas tops the toll 

    During the summer of 2012, the following twelve states suffered the largest number of pool and spa drownings for children younger than 15: 

    1. Texas (17)
    2. California (10)
    3. Ohio (9)
    4. Arizona (8)
    5. Michigan (8)
    6. Pennsylvania (7)
    7. Florida (6)
    8. Illinois (6)
    9. North Carolina (6)
    10. Alabama (5)
    11. Georgia (5)
    12. New York (5) 

    CPSC's 2012 submersion report shows on average 390 pool or spa-related drownings occur each year for children younger than 15, based on statistics from 2007-2009. About 5,200 pool or spa-related emergency department-treated submersion injuries occur on average each year for children younger than 15. 

    Pool safety tips 

    The Pool Safely campaign provides information on the simple steps that parents, caregivers and pool owners should take to ensure that children and adults stay safe around pools and spas: 

    • Stay close, be alert and watch children in and around the pool. Never leave children unattended in a pool or spa; always watch children closely around all bodies of water; teach children basic water safety tips; and keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings.
    • Learn and practice water safety skills. Every family member should know how to swim. Learn how to perform CPR on both children and adults.
    • Have appropriate equipment for your pool or spa. This includes pool fencing, a lockable safety cover for spas, proper drain covers to avoid entrapments, and lifesaving equipment such as life rings and a reaching pole.
    Information compiled from media reports show 137 children younger than 15 years drowned in a pool or spa during the traditional summer season of Memorial D...

    Midsummer Drowning Checkup: 90 Child Drownings Nationwide Since Memorial Day

    Parents, Caregivers Urged To Follow Safety Steps and Support Pool Safely Day 2012

    New information from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) shows that 90 children younger than 15 were reported to have drowned in swimming pools since Memorial Day. 

    An additional 106 children of that age required emergency response for near-drowning incidents, according to media reports, providing a sobering reminder of how a fun day at the pool can quickly turn tragic. 

    The figures show that young children and toddlers are especially vulnerable to drowning. Seventy-two percent of the children reported to have drowned since Memorial Day were younger than five years old. 

    Pool Safely Day 

    In light of this information, CSPC’s Pool Safely: Simple Steps Save Lives campaign is encouraging water parks, municipal swimming pools and other indoor and outdoor aquatic facilities to celebrate Pool Safely Day, an annual event promoting water safety that encourages all Americans to pool safely every day. 

    Participants from all around the U.S. will be participating in Pool Safely Day activities this week (July 22-29).  More than 70 facilities in 30 states have registered events with CPSC during the week.  Events will range from free swimming lessons, to CPR training, to distributing Pool Safely information materials to parents and caregivers. 

    "Making sure their children learn how to swim is one of the most important steps parents can take," said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. "Swimming is a fun activity to help keep cool in the summer and it also can be a lifesaver." 

    Texas leads the way 

    Texas had the highest number of drownings (13) in this time period with California, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania each reporting five drownings.  

    CPSC's latest submersion report shows on average 390 pool or spa-related drownings occur each year for children younger than 15, based on statistics from 2007-2009. About 5,200 pool or spa-related emergency department-treated submersion injuries occur on average each year for children younger than 15. 

    "This information tells a heartbreaking story," said Tenenbaum. "Behind each one of these incidents are grieving family members and communities. These are preventable tragedies, so we must continue to share the simple safety steps that parents and caregivers should take both before and during time spent in or near the water. That's what we mean when we say America needs to learn how to pool safely."

    Staying safe 

    The Pool Safely campaign provides information on the simple steps that parents, caregivers and pool owners can take to ensure that children and adults stay safe around pools and spas: 

    • Stay close, be alert and watch children in and around the pool. This means never leave children unattended in a pool or spa; always watch children closely around all bodies of water; teach children basic water safety tips; and keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings.
    • Learn and practice water safety skills.  This means every family member should know how to swim and learning to perform CPR on children and adults.
    • Have appropriate equipment for your pool or spa. This include fencing, a lockable safety cover, proper drain covers to avoid entrapments, and lifesaving equipment such as life rings and a reaching pole. 

    Pool Safely campaign 

    The Pool Safely campaign was launched in 2010 to raise awareness about pool and spa safety, as mandated by the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act. 

    This year, the campaign is increasing its focus on populations most at risk of drowning, including children younger than five years old who represent 75 percent of child drowning fatalities on average, and black and Hispanic children between the ages of 5 and 14 who drown at higher rates than white children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

    Data from USA Swimming indicate that 70 percent of black children and 62 percent of Hispanic children cannot swim, making them especially vulnerable to drowning.

    New information from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) shows that 90 children younger than 15 were reported to have drowned in swimming po...

    Pool Safety Tips for the 4th

    The holiday is prime time for drowning and other accidents

    Few things are more fun than celebrating the Independence Day holiday around the pool. But nothing can spoil the fun faster than a poolside tragedy. 

    As the holiday b approaches, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is releasing some sobering statistics on the number of drownings during previous July 4th holidays. CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum is reminding parents and caregivers to pool safely during upcoming pool parties and celebrations with family and friends. 

    "Along with fireworks, spending time in the pool is a traditional July 4th activity for many families," Chairman Tenenbaum said. "Child drownings are a preventable tragedy, so we encourage all families who are planning to spend time in pools and spas over the Independence Day holiday and all summer to adopt as many safety steps as possible. You never know which safety step will save a life -- until it does." 

    Fourth of July tragedy 

    According to analysis of media reports by USA Swimming, the national governing body for the sport of swimming, there were 25 drowning incidents involving children younger than 15 reported last year over the week of the July 4 holiday (June 30 through July 6). 

    In 2010, 24 drowning incidents were reported during that same week. CPSC reports that annually there are about 390 pool or spa-related drownings for children younger than 15. Another 5,200 children of that age go to hospital emergency rooms for near-drowning injuries. An unknown number of children are seriously brain-damaged. 

    Pool Safely 

    CPSC's Pool Safely campaign (www.PoolSafely.gov) is a national public education effort to reduce child drownings, near-drownings and entrapments in swimming pools and spas. The campaign's message is that Simple Steps Save Lives. Simple water steps that could help families avoid a tragedy this holiday include: 

    Staying Alert 

    • Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa and always watch your children closely around all bodies of water
    • Teach children basic water safety tips
    • Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments
    • Have a telephone close by when you or your family are using a pool or spa
    • If a child is missing, look for him or her in the pool or spa first
    • Share safety instructions with family, friends and neighbors 

    Water safety skills 

    • Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim
    • Learn to perform CPR on children and adults, and update those skills regularly
    • Understand the basics of life-saving so that you can assist in a pool emergency 

    The right equipment 

    • Install a four-foot or taller fence around the pool and spa and use self-closing and self-latching gates; ask your neighbors to do the same at their pools
    • Install and use a lockable safety cover on your spa
    • If your house serves as a fourth side of a fence around a pool, install and use a door or pool alarm
    • Maintain pool and spa covers in good working order
    • Ensure any pool and spa you use has drain covers that comply with federal standards, and ask your pool service provider if you do not know
    • Have lifesaving equipment such as life rings, floats or a reaching pole available and easily accessible
    Following a few simple rules can prevent a July 4th tragedy...