Starting last year, the informational drive formerly identified as Pool Safety Week has morphed into something bigger: National Water Safety Month. Starting in May of 2009, the public awareness campaign, which is spearheaded by several trade and professional associations, concentrated on educating the public about water safety in both public and private pools. The focus of their campaign is on creating barriers to unauthorized pool entry, installing anti-entrapment drain covers, and promoting undistracted adult supervision.
At their May 6 meeting, in support of the concept, Cranberry’s Board of Supervisors proclaimed May as Water Safety Month in Cranberry and designated Friday, May 21, as Water Safety Day in the Township. An open house at Community Waterpark will be held that day to demonstrate the Township’s preparedness for the new season, scheduled to begin May 29. Lifeguard rescue drills will be conducted, presentations on rules and on personal safety will also be featured. Graduates of previous Parks & Recreation Learn-to-Swim classes will be invited to test their level of proficiency, and a pledge to observe Waterpark rules will be administered with recognition provided to those who take the oath.
Approximately 300 children die in pools and spas every year, according to a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission report. Another 3,000 children under five suffer serious injuries in pools and spas every year, the Commission’s report notes. About two-thirds involve children under three years of age, and around 80 percent take place in residential pools.