Learning is a continuous process that is incredibly important in the water safety space, allowing us to stay up to date on current news, research and numbers. Learning not only happens in traditional settings such as workshops and training courses, but also through discussions with colleagues, sharing practical experience, and consulting newsletters, books, published research papers and audiovisual materials. 

The NDPA Resource Center strives to improve access to relevant information by collecting, categorizing and organizing materials that are useful to all members of the aquatics industry and drowning prevention advocates.

This new and exciting tool contains the following features:

  • NDPA Partner Directory
  • Drowning Prevention & Water Safety Resource Directory
  • Sharable Drowning Prevention Social Media Content
  • Resources for Task Forces & Coalitions
  • An Index of Drowning Prevention & Water Safety Literature containing over 300 entries
  • An Index of over 60 Regional, State, and National Water Safety, Drowning, and Injury Databases
  • NDPA & National Water Safety Conference Media Library

and so much more exclusively for NDPA Members.

Basic members enjoy the following benefits:

  • Use of the NDPA Member Logo.
  • Listed in NDPA Member directory.
  • Receive ALL NDPA Communications including the newsletter.
  • Free access to resources from the NDPA and our Partners.
  • Show your clients, friends, and family that you are part of the alliance to prevent drowning.
  • Task Force & Coalition Resources
  • Advocacy Information
  • Over 100 shareable drowning prevention social media images, infographics, and videos.

The following are the benefits reserved for Premium members:

  • $50 off 1 conference registration at Early Bird or Regular Rate.
  • Use of NDPA Member Logo.
  • Newsletter and communication subscription.
  • Free access to resources from the NDPA and our Partners.
  • Prime listing in NDPA Member directory.
  • Show your clients, friends, and family that you are part of the alliance to prevent drowning.
  • All Basic Member Benefits
  • NDPA Member & Partner Directory Access
  • Access to our Drowning Literature Directory that includes an index of over 300 research studies, reports, and other literature.
  • Access to our Drowning Data Hub that provides easy access to over 60 drowning and injury databases from across the United States.
  • Access to the NDPA Premium Video library that includes all past NDPA Webinars, select conference presentations, and more!

Teaching kids, teens and even adults how to be safe near and in the water as well as what to do if anything ever goes wrong is paramount to prevent unintentional drowning incidents, both fatal and non-fatal.

The following programs have been designed to offer proper guidance in the matter and can be added to any school or homeschool curriculum.

Stop Drowning Now

The Safer 3 in the classroom

Stop Drowning Now’s Water Safety Curriculum teaches kids how to recognize drowning risks and to protect themselves and others. The Curriculum is specifically designed for young kids’ learning needs. Through an experiential approach, kids participate in the discovery and identification process, and learn preventative measures as well as emergency responses.

Water Safety With Colin & Friends

Water Safety With Colin & Friends is a comprehensive water safety education tool. The classroom-based curriculum focuses on 5 key rules that can help children make safer choices around all types of water, such as waiting for an adult before going in or near water and wearing a life jacket. The full kit includes activities like songs, water safety games, and even a science experiment. The program is evidence-based, continues to be evaluated for efficacy, and has been proven with statistical significance to increase children’s water safety knowledge!

Kidshealth In The Classroom

KidsHealth in the Classroom by Nemours offers educators free health-related lesson plans for PreK through 12th grade. Each Teacher’s Guide includes discussion questions, classroom activities and extensions, printable handouts, and quizzes and answer keys all aligned to National Health Education Standards.

For water safety educational resources search under Personal Health.

Josh The Otter Water Safety & Awareness Project

Drowning is preventable. Teach this life-saving message.


Demonstrate the importance of water safety with Josh the Baby Otter. This guide will help you educate young children about drowning prevention through a fun and interactive classroom activity.

Water Smart Education Toolkit

Curriculum materials to teach Water Safety have been developed by Royal Life Saving Australia together with education resource specialists, teachers and water safety instructors.

The teaching resources in the Water Smart education toolkit outline appropriate learning outcomes and have taken into consideration the new Australian National Curriculum for all years from Foundation to Year 10. The key components of the resource toolkit include Units of Work, Teachers Notes, Activity Sheets, Safety Tips and Supplementary Resources.

Curriculum Swimming and Water Safety Resource Pack

Swim England and the Swim Group have created a resource pack for all those involved in the delivery of curriculum swimming and water safety.

The resource pack has been split into four to provide dedicated information for each  group. Each section provides practical guidance on how to plan, deliver and report on curriculum swimming and water safety.

Water Safety Resources 

Teachers Pay Teachers is a great database for educators to find the resources, knowledge, and inspiration they need to teach at their best. They offer more than 3 million free and paid resources, created by educators who understand what works in the classroom and have a great selection of water safety materials that can be used in the classroom for kids from PreK to 12th grade.

Water safety resources for teachers

Water Safety for Kids

The American Red Cross offers resources to help your child learn about water safety while having fun in and around water.

The ultimate goal of the following events is to bring together professionals and supporters from all aspects of aquatics and drowning prevention to network, advocate, educate, improve, and expand the entire industry in the country.

World Aquatic Health Conference

The World Aquatic Health Conference is the industry’s leading educational conference on aquatics. Celebrating its 17th year, WAHC 2020 will continue the tradition of disseminating cutting edge science relevant to all segments of the pool and spa market.

Join virtually on October 15-16 to experience cutting-edge aquatic research presented by industry experts across the globe and network with like-minded professionals, industry leaders and experts.

USSSA National Conference

Come together virtually September 15-17, 2020 with top notch industry speakers, fellow members, industry partners, and friends at this year’s USSSA National Conference! The agenda is comprised of live sessions, on-demand sessions, and interactive workshops. 

Although this year’s conference is different than years past, it is not one to be missed! 

WWA 40th Anniversary Symposium & Trade Show

Join fellow waterpark owners, operators, developers, designers and suppliers for the WWA’s 40th Anniversary Symposium & Trade Show, October 6-9, 2020, at Caesars Forum Conference Center & Harrah’s Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.

The trade show will be located at the all new Caesars Forum Conference Center, which is located behind the High Roller in the LINQ Promenade area. The headquarters hotel will be Harrah’s Las Vegas, which is connected to the Caesars Forum Conference Center.

The WWA Show continues to be the water leisure industry’s most popular market place for the waterpark industry, as it offers the following opportunities for professional growth and development. To review complete details about the show or to register, click below. 

The International Pool, Spa and Patio Expo

The International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo, co-located with DeckExpo (PSP/DeckExpo), is reimagining this year’s event.

The decision to transition the event was not reached easily, however, based on feedback and the support of the community, the organization felt it was the right choice for their partners, sponsoring associations, attendees, and exhibitors. The virtual event will be hosted over the same dates, November 11 – 13, with registration opening later this fall. 

If you have an event the NDPA should be aware of, let us know in a comment!

The water safety non-profit reminds parents and caregivers to avoid distracted supervision around pools.

MINNEAPOLIS—There’s a perfect storm of circumstances conspiring against adults’ ability to keep kids safe around pools and lakes this summer. Electronic devices continue to dominate our attention. And the COVID-19 pandemic has more adults working from home and supervising their children at the same time. For those with backyard pools, this poses an especially significant danger which has been brought to life in a chilling PSA from Abbey’s Hope.

The 30-second spot, “Watch Me!” features an all-too familiar scene: a distracted mom on the phone, laptop open as her young child splashes in the water, clamoring for her attention. What happens next is summed up by a provocative message superimposed on screen: “88% of child drownings occur with an adult nearby. 100% of those adults will never forgive themselves.” The spot concludes by inviting the viewer to become a Water Watchdog, which is an active supervision program started by Abbey’s Hope. To date, nearly 10,000 people have registered to take the pledge and receive their iconic Abbey’s Hope Water Watchdog ‘dog tag,’ a tangible reminder of the need to be vigilant when supervising children around water.

“It’s sadly ironic that we often tell our kids that we’re watching them, when we’re not,” said Katey Taylor, who along with husband Scott Taylor, founded Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation in response to the tragic death of their daughter, Abbey, following a pool drain entrapment incident in 2007. Taylor added, “Vigilant supervision has never been more important or required greater discipline, given the world we live in.”

 Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children ages one to four.  According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were 379 pool- or spa-related fatal drownings reported per year for 2015 through 2017, involving children younger than 15 years of age.  The vast majority of those deaths were to children ages 4 and under.

The PSA will launch 7/20/20 on social media and is free to use and can be accessed at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZgSYeaUqWc  It also will be broadcast on local television during the summer months when pool and lake usage is at its peak. 

About Abbey’s Hope:
Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation is a Minnesota nonprofit organization named after Abbey Taylor, the Edina, Minn., six-year-old who died in 2008 as a result of injuries sustained by an improperly maintained pool drain cover. 

The Foundation’s goal is to: 

●      Promote awareness of, and education, related to child safety issues, including educating pool owners, operators, inspectors, and the general public about the dangers of pool entrapment, evisceration and drowning and the need for physical inspections of pool equipment.

●      Work with the pool and spa industry to improve the design of its products, packaging and warning labels, and assist in the development of product safety standards related to such products.

●      Identify and provide support and assistance to organizations and programs that help educate parents, children, and pool and spa manufacturers about the prevention of entrapment and traditional forms of drowning.  

Find out more about Abbey’s Hope at http://www.abbeyshope.org/

###

Alison Petri
Program Manager
Abbey’s Hope Foundation
952.303.5421763.331.1899(cell)
alison@abbeyshope.org

Facebook Live events begin at 10 AM CDT on July 16th with resources to help parents bridge the water safety knowledge gap for kids that can’t participate in traditional swim lessons due to COVID-19.

OVERLAND PARK, Kan., July 14, 2020 – In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers for the 2020 World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™ (#WLSL2020) are reaching out virtually on July 16th to offer tips, resources, information and guided lessons that parents can do with kids at home. The online event is in addition to local lessons that are taking place at a limited number of locations.

3-time Olympic gold medalist, ESPN and NBC Sports analyst and WLSL ambassador, Rowdy Gaines, helps a young swimmer get comfortable in the water during a World's Largest Swimming Lesson event at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon.
3-time Olympic gold medalist, ESPN and NBC Sports analyst and WLSL ambassador, Rowdy Gaines, helps a young swimmer get comfortable in the water during a World’s Largest Swimming Lesson event at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon.
A young swimmer works on opening her eyes underwater during the World's Largest Swimming Lesson. The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends swim lessons as a layer of protection against drowning that can begin as early as age 1. Parents can work to introduce good water safety habits and start building swim readiness skills at home.
A young swimmer works on opening her eyes underwater during the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson. The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends swim lessons as a layer of protection against drowning that can begin as early as age 1. Parents can work to introduce good water safety habits and start building swim readiness skills at home.

Dozens of nationally recognized water safety and training organizations support the WLSL event each year. With day camps canceled and the delayed/limited opening of pools and waterparks this summer, TEAM WLSL is sharing their expertise with families at home to help bridge the gap for kids that have not been able to participate in traditional swim lessons.

Per the World Health Organization, drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury-related death, accounting for 7 percent of all injury-related deaths worldwide. In the U.S., drowning remains the leading cause of injury-related death for children ages 1 to 4, and the second leading cause for children under 14.

This year, as families head to the backyard and open water environments without the benefit of lifeguards or swim instructors, it appears drowning rates are increasing. In response, TEAM WLSL organizers are urging parents to take advantage of a wealth of free online resources to learn more about water safety and drowning prevention.

“Safety is always the first priority for our aquatics community,” said Rick Root, President, World Waterpark Association.  “And, working to help families access water safety and learn to swim resources is more important than ever in our current environment. Whether they participate at a live WLSL event in their community or join us online, we want kids to learn how to Be Water Aware and parents to understand the crucial importance of learning to swim as a key layer of protection for drowning prevention.”

About The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™
TEAM WLSL® was created by the World Waterpark Association as a platform for the aquatics industry to build awareness about the fundamental importance of teaching children to swim to help prevent drowning. WLSL events have provided more than 159,000 hours of water safety training around the globe. Since its inception in 2010, more than 319,000 children and adults at 4,548 locations in 48 countries have participated in local WLSL lessons and the Swimming Lessons Save Lives™ message has been shared more than two billion times. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsYmk9iN1zI

Contact: 
Aleatha Ezra
243433@email4pr.com
Phone: 913-599-0300

SOURCE World Waterpark Association

The fact that swimming schools have closed until further notice is no reason to bring your children’s water safety education to a halt. If you are like most parents that are now homeschooling their kids, take the opportunity to add water safety and drowning prevention to your daily activities with these fun, free and educational resources.

Make a splash in your family’s routine! 

Goldfish Swim School offers an array of screen-free activities, like coloring sheets, crossword puzzles, games and more! New activities are added periodically so be sure to check their site every few days.

Goldfish Swimschool Printables
Goldfish Swim School Activities

The school also offers some great tips on ways your kids can keep honing their swimming skills even though pools are closed. Check them out here.

Get The Party Started!

CPR Party™ offers fun, age appropriate and entertaining printable resources on their site which were designed to help teach your kids first aid and equip them with the life saving skill of CPR. You can add them to your homeschooling schedule or even host your own CPR Party™ at home with the entire family!

Your kids can now start learning CPR at home!

You can find more CPR Party™ resources here.

RNLI Water Safety Wednesdays

The RNLI, in their quest for ways to engage, educate and entertain kids at home about water safety, are hosting live, interactive video sessions for primary school age children on their Facebook Page. Sessions are streamed on Wednesdays at 10:15am.

Water Safety Wednesdays hosted by the RNLI.

Water Safety With Josh & Friends

The Josh the Otter Program also offers free resources and activities that kids can do at home to further their water safety education and instill in them Josh’s key message: To stay away from water unless accompanied by an adult.

Begin their easy to follow Water Safety 101 course by reading Josh The Baby Otter then take the easy Water Safety Quiz and wrap up the lesson with fun coloring pages, word finds and even make a Josh The Otter puppet!

Captain Paxton Coloring Book

Created by WS365, the North Richland Hills Water Safety Program, this lively coloring book teaches your kids some very important water safety lessons like never swim without an adult, stay away from drains and learn to swim.

Pool Safely Kids Activity Corner

You can find Pool Safely‘s educational videos and activities that help children enjoy learning about pool safety and family fun in the water on their website.

Pool Safely Coloring Sheet

Virtual Activities For The Entire Family

Colin’s Hope is bringing fun and interactive learning experiences to the entire family! Gather children of all ages (even teens!) and learn about water safety in new ways.

Drowning won’t stop, so neither will we and neither should you! Your support will allow us to continue educating and advocating water safety to prevent child drownings.

what are layers of protection

Drowning has been defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “the process of experiencing respiratory impairment from submersion/ immersion in liquid.” The outcome of a drowning incident can be classified as “death,” “morbidity,” and “no morbidity”. The more common terms used in discussions are “fatal” or “nonfatal” drownings.

According to the CDC, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths for children 1-4 years, the second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths for children 1-14 years, and is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury deaths for all ages in the United States. Water-related injuries also affect a significant number of American children. An estimated twenty percent of drowning victims suffer severe, permanent neurological disability.

Drowning is, however, preventable and the NDPA recognizes that multiple strategies are necessary in order to do so. The term “layers of protection” is one used to classify the majority of strategies directly affecting aquatic environments. Parents, caregivers, residential pool owners, aquatic facility owners, managers and operators should use “layers of protection” to provide a system of increased security to prevent unauthorized access to bodies of water, especially important for children. This means that multiple strategies or devices are used constantly and simultaneously.

“Layers of protection” include:

Supervision

Parents, adults and caregivers must actively supervise children at all times when in or near the water and be fully aware of potential dangers in all environments, such as when visiting other homes, while on vacation, or at public/community pools.

Always designate a water watcher to actively supervise children when in or near water.

Unfortunately, many drowning incidents have occurred when people are solely engaged in swimming or other water play, and adults know children are in the water and those adults are nearby.

Active supervision is the first and most important layer of protection needed to prevent drowning accidents. Always assign a water watcher when kids are in the water who will watch them at all times without any distractions.

Physical Layers

Fences are the first physical line of defense that restrict access to the pool.

Physical layers may also be considered as barriers and constitute the first line of physical defense that restrict unauthorized access to the pool or spa area in its entirety or prevent unauthorized access to the water in the pool or spa.

Bear in mind that barriers are not child proof, but they do provide layers of protection for a child when there is a lapse in adult supervision. Barriers give parents additional time to find a child before the unexpected can occur. (USCPSC).

Physical layers that limit access to the pool or spa area:

  • Fences, 
  • Gates 
  • Latches 
  • House doors 
Pool safety cover
Pool safety cover

Physical layers that restrict access to the water include:

  • Pool and spa safety covers (power-operated, semi-automatic or manual)
  • Pool safety nets
  • Winter safety covers

Learn to Swim

Swimming lessons should be considered an additional layer of protection needed to prevent drowning accidents. Surviving in the water becomes increasingly difficult without this life-saving skill. According to the CDC, formal swimming lessons can reduce the chances of drowning by 88 percent.

Image: Northern Beaches Council

When selecting a swimming class for your child, ensure it includes water safety and survival education at the appropriate developmental level.

Other than the layers listed above, there are additional layers needed in case an emergency should occur that include learning CPR, first aid and rescue knowledge.

Alarms

Alarms are an important addition to creating a safer environment. 

They can be added to windows, doors, gates and the pool to alert an adult when a barrier has been breached. While the primary goal of layers of protection is to prevent unauthorized access to the water, alarms are important to alert adults if access to the water has been made.  

Alarms can be your last line of defense and allow adults to respond to an emergency quicker.

Active adult supervision and pool barriers are two key layers of protection against child drowning and must always be present, but be aware that not even the most diligent parent or caregiver can actively supervise a child 24/7. Barriers can be breached which is why the NDPA urges using multiple strategies and devices simultaneously to help prevent injuries and deaths from drowning. 

Each additional layer or strategy beyond the first could be the one that saves a life so be sure to use as many as possible at all times.

For more detailed information, read our complete position paper here.

June 10, 2019

Andrea Wells
Director, Marketing & Communications
awells@phta.org

PHTA Partner National Drowning Prevention Alliance Becomes a Proud Supporter

(ALEXANDRIA, VA)—The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) is proud to announce that our safety partner the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA) supports the adoption of International Swimming Pool & Spa Code (ISPSC) to help save lives When adopted, the ISPSC will provide the country’s 13 -14 million backyard residential pools and spas the same level of high bather safety protection that the VGB mandates for the nation’s 300,000 public pools.

“The NDPA supports the adoption of the ISPSC in states and local jurisdictions around the country,” said NDPA Executive Director, Dr. Adam Katchmarchi. “We believe that the adoption of the ISPSC is a great step towards making pools and spas safer and look forward to help promote its adoption..”

The International Swimming Pool & Spa Code (ISPSC) is a comprehensive pool and spa code that regulates the minimum requirements for the design, construction, alteration and repair and maintenance of new residential and public pools and spas, including aboveground pools, waterparks, and factory built portable hot tubs.  It specifically addresses guidelines on how to comply with the VGB requirements for suction entrapment avoidance and layers of protection inhibiting unintended entry and drowning prevention.

“We’re encouraged for increased bather safety that the message is resonating and more and more of PHTA partners are supporting the adoption of the ISPSC, said PHTA Vice President of Standards and Technical , Carvin DiGiovanni.” “As we look toward the future, ISPSC adoption will enhance the safe use of our industry’s pools and spas reducing incidences while increasing the joy and health benefits they provide.” PHTA has always been on the forefront of ISPSC adoption.  We will continue to educate the industry and stakeholders on the value and benefits of the ISPSC.”

The great news is as of June 1,  21 states and 181 local jurisdictions have adopted it providing new safety protection for millions of residential swimming pool owners and users. Check out the full ISPSC Adoption Status Report at APSP.org/ISPSC.

PHTA offers the ISPSC for sale.  Purchase your copy at APSP.org/Store. For more information about ISPSC, visit APSP.org/ISPSC or email Carvin DiGiovanni at cdigiovanni@phta.org. 

About PHTA
The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance was formed in 2019, combining the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP) and the National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF). With the mission to “Celebrate the Water,” PHTA facilitates the expansion of swimming, water safety and related research and outreach activities aimed at introducing more people to swimming, making swimming environments safer and keeping pools open to serve communities. For more information, visit APSP.org or NSPF.org.

The International Swimming Pool and Spa Code (ISPSC)

Drowning is still a leading cause of accidental death in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children ages 1–4, the second leading cause for children under 14, and remains in the top five causes of accidental death up to age 55. Drowning is reported as the fifth leading cause of accidental death in the United States overall. It is worth noting that more children ages 1–4 die from accidental drowning than motor vehicle accidents. We seem to be in a repeating circle as our drowning numbers in the United States remain nearly steady year after year. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported that 163 children fatally drowned between Memorial Day and Labor Day in 2017; nearly 70 percent of them were children under the age of five. What can give us all hope is that drowning is a 100-percent preventable accident.

Prevention is the most important weapon against drowning and other aquatic incidents. Prevention is not a new concept when it comes to water safety. However, there is now a tool that puts prevention and safety at the forefront for both residential and commercial pools. The International Swimming Pool and Spa Code (ISPSC) is one of the most important documents ever to come out for the industry and the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA) is proud to support it. It contains everything a pool contractor needs to make the pool safe and operate efficiently. You may ask yourself why consistent codes and standards for pool and spa construction are important for the health and safety of the public. The best answer is that the ISPSC sets the minimum standard for pool and spa safety by substantially reducing the risk of child drowning through introducing or enhancing requirements for residential pools and spas. The adoption of the ISPSC can reduce drowning accidents by requiring barriers, compliant design and slopes for entry and exit, work towards the elimination of entrapment incidents once and for all, and ensure that pools and spas are built using approved and safe materials. As you can see, the ISPSC goes well beyond addressing safety.

Mandating change seems to work when dealing with pool and spa safety. Over 10 years have passed since the passage of the only federal law for pool safety in the United States. The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (VGB P&SS Act) has made a significant impact on the safety of commercial pools and spas. The mandating of unlockable drain covers and the installation of other anti-entrapment devices has resulted in no entrapment deaths in commercial pools and spas since the law was passed. Additionally, the access to safety information and advice for the consumer has increased substantially with the creation of the Pool Safely Campaign under the CPSC. It is important to note that when adopted, the ISPSC will mandate the same level of safety protection for residential backyard pools and spas that the VGB P&SS Act requires for public pools and spas. In addition, the CPSC has recognized the jurisdictions that have adopted the ISPSC as being eligible to apply for CPSC’s pool and spa training funds.

Organizations such as the NDPA and the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA; formerly the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals) have encouraged pool operators and owners to employ as many layers of protection as possible around swimming pools and spas. Simply put, the concept of layers of protection is a multi-faceted approach that includes a mix of supervision, barriers, alarms and safety devices to lessen the chance of a tragic incident. The more layers of protection put in place, the less chance an incident will occur. Layers of protection often include the following: fencing and barriers around water; self-closing, self-latching gates; hard-shell pool covers; door, window, gate and water alarms; ensuring the pool or spa has met all required codes; having rescue equipment near the pool or spa; learning CPR, first aid and teaching everyone to swim; always having responsible supervision around the water; and keeping the pool and spa area secure and free of toys and other attractive nuisances when not in use.

As simple as these safety steps can be to employ around a pool or spa, many unsafe pools and spas still exist. Since 2000, the fatal drowning rates in the United States have not seen a substantial drop. It is more imperative than ever that solutions are brought forward that can begin to make important and much-needed steps in the right direction. The ISPSC is an important part of the solution. The ISPSC is one of a kind as there is no other comprehensive model swimming pool and spa code available that addresses all types of pool and spas and all aspects of construction and design. Even though most states and local jurisdictions have some form of existing pool codes, most lack a comprehensive code or law that addresses all aspects of design, construction, and safety of residential pools and spas. Many jurisdictions around the country lack even minimal barrier and/or suction-fitting requirements in residential pools.

As a uniform building code that has been (as of this writing) adopted in 20 states and 171 local jurisdictions, the ISPSC is playing a vital role in changing the nature of safety in backyard pools and spas. When reviewing the ISPSC, one of the first things that comes to mind is the requirements for specific safety steps around pools and spas, including barriers and the use of alarms. As cited by national agencies and organizations, barriers and alarms are one of the most important components to reducing unsupervised pool access by children. While any type of new regulations can be a hard sell, this particular regulation is important for the pool and spa industry. We must make it our mission to make pool and spas safer to reduce both fatal and non-fatal drownings and other aquatic injuries. Creating safer pools and spas is essential to reducing the incidence of drowning. The ISPSC is a much-needed step in the right direction for both the commercial and residential industries in our goal of making water safer.

To contrast the impact of the ISPSC, there are approximately 300,000 public pools and spas currently protected by the VGB P&SS Act and in comparison, close to 13 million backyard pools and spas that are not. Adoption of the ISPSC achieves this goal. The objective must be to get the ISPSC adopted into law in order to have residential pools and spas achieve the same level of mandated safety protection that the VGB P&SS Act requires for public pools and spas. Simply put, the ISPCS, when adopted becomes the “VGB P&SS Act” for residential pools. Drowning impacts so many people each year and a promising tool is here to help. It is time to mandate change and implement the ISPSC so that our staggering statistics change for the better.

Statement of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance in Support of the International Swimming Pool & Spa Code

The International Swimming Pool and Spa Code (ISPSC) is a model code that regulates the minimum requirements for the design, construction, alteration, repair and maintenance of new or substantially re-modeled swimming pools, spas, hot tubs and aquatic facilities. This includes public swimming pools, public spas, public exercise spas, aquatic recreation facilities, permanent in-ground residential pools and spas, and permanent residential pools and spas among other water venues. The National Drowning Prevention Alliance supports the adoption of the ISPSC in states and local jurisdictions around the country. Many states and local jurisdictions have already done just that. More should follow suit.

Developed in collaboration with the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance, (PHTA; formerly the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals, APSP), ISPSC adoption provides many benefits supporting the safety and health of water. If adopted, the code requires pools and other water facilities to: meet the requirements of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act; meet the APSP–7 standard for suction entrapment avoidance; require layers of protection around pools and spas that help prevent the unfettered access by children, including fencing, covers, and door and window alarms; and ensures that water quality is healthy and safe, among many other safety and health provisions.

This article was originally published by the Building Safety Journal. Read it here.

Read the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance’s press release here.

Blog cover

As an educational resource for the United States and beyond, the National Drowning Prevention Alliance strives to place emphasis on research, awareness, and policy changes to impact the incidence of toddler drownings in swimming pools, bathtubs, spas and jacuzzis. The result has been an unprecedented growth and presence in national and local drowning prevention efforts.

The NDPA was willed into existence in November 2004 thanks to the vision and  effort of D&D Technologies to establish a national organization devoted to drowning prevention. Previous efforts included organizing the first National Drowning Prevention Symposium in 2002 which took place in Las Vegas, NV. This was the first event of its kind bringing together a plurality of aquatic safety organizations and advocates to discuss challenges and opportunities in the advancement of drowning prevention.

Former NDPA board members
Former NDPA Board Members (from left): Kim Tyson, Tomas LeClerc, Mary Ann Downing, and Bob Ogoreuc.

A couple of years after the Las Vegas event, the NDPA was officially established as a 501(c)(3) organization for public benefit.

Our main goal at the NDPA is to bring together everyone who has a vested interest in drowning prevention and water safety. Through our vast network of partners, members, advocates, and supporters, we are able to provide education and resources to prevent drowning and aquatic injury by making water safe to enjoy.

Looking to further our goal of reducing the number of unintentional drownings registered in the country and worldwide in innovative yet effective ways, we are adding a new channel to share our educational efforts as well as those of our partners and advocates: our very own blog!.

We hope to leverage this new channel to connect with all our supporters in such a way that proves beneficial to the general public through the sharing of educational and informative resources, insights and current studies made readily available for any- and every-body. 

As a relentless force to be reckoned with, the NDPA will continue to pursue its number one goal to put an end to child drownings being the leading cause of unintentional death for children between the ages of 1 and 4.

Drowning IS preventable!

Find ways to get involved in water safety education in your community here.