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Grant funding will go toward programs that prevent pool drownings

Middlesex County is one of only five in the nation to receive grant

 

Middlesex County has been awarded a $128,800 grant by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to be used for education, training, and enforcement of pool safety requirements that are intended to save lives and prevent serious injuries.

Middlesex County was one of only five state and county governments in the country to receive funds from the Pool Safely Grant Program, which is intended to help prevent pool and spa drownings and drain entrapments, according to information provided by the county.

The county will use the funds to educate the public regarding water safety, which includes both pool and sun safety. The Middlesex County Department of Public Safety and Health will collaborate with Raritan Valley YMCA in East Brunswick, Raritan Bay YMCA in Perth Amboy, and other partners to implement the program.

Partners are currently planning an event for early September in conjunction with Saint Peter’s University Hospital. The event will include free skin cancer screenings.

Additionally, the county will partner with the YMCA to offer free swimming lessons to the public.

“The importance of water safety cannot be overstated,” Board of County Commissioners Director Ronald G. Rios said in the statement. “Too many people die or suffer serious injuries in accidental drowning incidents each year, including some right here in Middlesex County. We are grateful to the Consumer Product Safety Commission for this generous Pool Safely Grant which will enable us to share vital water safety information and teach lifesaving skills to residents of Middlesex County.”

According to estimates by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an average of 11 people die in accidental drownings each day in the U.S. Another 22 people per day are involved in non-fatal drownings. The CDC defines non-fatal drownings as drowning incidents in which the person survives but may experience outcomes ranging from no injuries to serious injuries or permanent disability.

To learn more about how to help reduce child drownings and entrapments in swimming pools and spas, and to download the Pool Safely app, visit poolsafely.gov/.

The CPSC Pool Safely Grant is authorized by the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (VGB Act) which was authored and led by U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The VGB Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush in December 2007.

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