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 https://www.abbeyshope.org/