Campaign Pushes Pool Safety

May 26, 2011

A statewide advocacy group is launching a new program to raise awareness of pool safety. The campaign by "Safe Kids North Carolina" aims to improve safety at pools and encourage simple steps that can save lives. Director Kelly Ransdell says about 400 kids under the age of 14 drown in pools and spas each year in the United States.

Kelly Ransdell: "Unfortunately the media on television portrays it as splashing, crying, and "Help!" but actually drowning happens really quickly and quietly. And so a lot of times parents or caregivers may not know that the kids are in trouble, and as a result they made drown. And so having someone that actively supervises those children is really our best defense."

Ransdell says talking on cell phones and texting while supervising could take up just enough time for a child to drown. She says another goal of the campaign is to support industry compliance with a law requiring anti-entrapment drain covers in pools.

Ransdell: "In the past, drain covers were flat, and what could happen is a child's skin, bathing suit, or hair could get entangled in that drain which would actually cause them to drown. And so now they have come up with a new type of drain cover, that actually is an anti-entrapment drain cover, and it's a dome-shaped drain cover which does not allow an object to get stuck to it."

Other simple steps that can save lives, according to the campaign, are installing fences around pools and teaching kids to swim.

Ransdell: "With the Memorial Day holiday, and with the warm temperatures that we're having, and the availability of pools and rivers and lakes, we want to make sure everyone has a great, safe holiday."