PHTA Standards Consensus Committee Appoints New Members
The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) Standards Consensus Committee (SCC) is pleased to announce the appointment of a new Vice Chair and four new Voting Members. The SCC is PHTA’s official consensus voting body, responsible for reviewing and voting on all pool, spa, and hot tub standards to be approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Members of the SCC are classified into one of four interest categories: Producer, User-Government, User-Consumer, or General Interest.
The new SCC Vice Chair is Bruce Carney, owner of American Pools & Spas in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. He is a member in the Producer interest category. Carney has worked in the pool industry since 1970 in various capacities, including construction, design, renovation, facility evaluation, and maintenance. He was very involved with both the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals and the National Swimming Pool Foundation before they merged into PHTA, and has also been both a trainer and a presenter for the American Red Cross.
The SCC’s four new Voting Members are:
- Kevin Baugh, User-Government
Baugh is an Environmental Health Specialist III for the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment in Olathe, KS. He earned a Master of Environment Policy and Management and a Bachelor of Environmental Science from American Public University Systems. Baugh holds several professional certifications, including Certified Pool & Spa Operator and Certified Environmental Scientist.
- Megan Ferraro, User-Consumer
Ferraro is Executive Director of The ZAC Foundation in Malvern, PA. She earned a B.A. in Political Science from Villanova University. Ferraro has been an advocate for water safety for over 10 years and serves as Co-Chair for both the CA Water Safety Coalition Board and the National Drowning Prevention Alliance Advisory Committee.
- Alan Korn, User-Consumer
Korn is Executive Director and General Counsel of Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation in Washington, DC. He earned his JD from Washington University Law School and his BS from Indiana University. He has worked in the water safety and product safety community for over 25 years, including the original development and further revisions of the Virginia Graeme Baker Act.
- Lexi Schmidt, User-Consumer
Schmidt is a Senior Mechanical Engineer at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, FL. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Professional Engineer License for the state of Florida. At Walt Disney World, she has spent nearly 10 years working on commercial pool systems and consulting on new build designs.
“I’d like to congratulate Bruce and welcome the new members of the Standards Consensus Committee,” says SCC Chair Kris Bridges, MCP, CBO, CZA, Building Official/Zoning Administrator for the City of Martinsville, VA. “I know our new members will bring a significant breadth of knowledge from the areas of pool compliance, advocacy, construction, and operation. The SCC performs an important step in the process of Standards Development and it’s wonderful to have these talented professionals on board.”
PHTA is the leading industry organization recognized by ANSI to develop and promote national consensus standards for residential and public swimming pools, hot tubs, and spas. In 2023, PHTA is proudly celebrating 40 years of being an ANSI Accredited Standards Developer.
For more information, please visit the Standards Consensus Committee webpage on the PHTA website or contact [email protected].
PHTA Launches New Jobseeker Website: WorkInAquatics.com
(Alexandria, VA) – The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA), the trade association representing the swimming pool, hot tub and spa industry, today announced a major milestone in its workforce development program as it launched its brand new jobseeker website, WorkInAquatics.com and robust job board made exclusively for PHTA member companies, careers.WorkInAquatics.com.
The cornerstone of the program is the consumer website, which serves as the program hub and provides jobseekers with critical information about the industry, including in-demand positions, career tracks, earning potential, personal success stories and more. Members of PHTA are invited to create their very own Employer profiles and post jobs free of charge on the only industry-specific job board on the market.
PHTA leadership first revealed plans for the program, known as the Pool Professionals Pipeline, at its board meeting last November. Alongside its experienced steering committee of industry experts, PHTA developed the program to enhance jobseeker awareness of the aquatics industry and to meet the demands for new talent amid member concerns over the labor shortage and the compounded effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The pool and hot tub industry is awash with potential for growth, but like many other industries today, we are limited due to the shortage of skilled labor and younger generations of workers entering trades such as ours,” said PHTA President and CEO Sabeena Hickman. “The importance of this program cannot be understated – we heard our members’ concerns loud and clear, and we’re proud to finally unveil this next step in our plan to welcome jobseekers to our industry.”
Along with the jobseeker website and job board, the program will be supported by a social media presence on Facebook and LinkedIn, public relations, advertising campaigns and ongoing content development of videos, new resources and other assets. PHTA members can expect additional resources and ways to expand their visibility among today’s active jobseekers.
The work for PHTA and the industry is just beginning. “To truly make a splash, we must prioritize investing in recruiting and training a new pool of candidates to join our industry,” said Hickman. “Having a visible presence and voice out there advocating for our industry is vital for our continued growth and success. PHTA is committed to supporting this jobseeker awareness campaign for the long-term – and ultimately, to driving engaged and qualified candidates to our members to find their new careers.”
To learn more about PHTA’s program and access exclusive resources and opportunities, visit phta.org/workforce or contact [email protected].
Nearly Half of Parents Say Their Child Does Not Know How to Swim
PHOENIX, May 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Many Americans do not know how to swim, placing themselves at risk as they enjoy swimming pools, lakes, rivers, and oceans this summer.
- May marks the 20th Annual National Water Safety Month to call attention to water safety and the importance of learning to swim.
- Leslie’s, the leading direct-to-consumer pool and spa brand in the U.S., teams up with Cullen Jones, four-time Olympic swimming medalist and the first African American swimmer to hold a world swimming record, to raise awareness of the importance of swimming lessons; maintaining healthy and safe pool water; and securing pool areas.
- National retailer launches in-store program, May 5 – October 31, to raise funds for Boys and Girls Clubs of America and YMCA to support swim lessons and water safety education programs.
According to a recent Leslie’s-commissioned survey conducted by The Harris Poll, only 63% of U.S. adults say they are very comfortable being around water, and as much as 36% of those surveyed say they do not know how to swim.
The numbers are even more alarming for children. Nearly half the parents of children under 18 years of age say their child does not know how to swim, and 61% say their child has not taken swimming lessons. Almost 30% of parents say they are concerned about their child drowning.
Those concerns are well-founded. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), every year in the U.S. there are an estimated 4,000 fatal drownings and 8,000 nonfatal drownings. Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S. among children ages one to four years with the majority of the drownings occurring in swimming pools versus natural bodies of water. The CDC also reports that drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury death in children and adolescents ages 5 to 19 years old, behind motor vehicle crashes. Among children 5 to 14 years of age, 30% of the drowning deaths occur in swimming pools, while more than half of the drownings among people 15 years or older are in natural waters such as lakes, rivers, and oceans.
“Children are irresistibly drawn to water, whether it’s a backyard pool, a pond, or a river. It’s better to teach them how to be safe in the water than to instruct them to avoid it and hope they listen,” said Cullen Jones, four-time Olympic swimming medalist, who is now a swimming lessons advocate and Leslie’s water safety collaboration partner. “Learning to be safe and at ease in the water also opens up a whole new world of recreational and athletic possibilities, such as boating, fishing and competitive swimming, among others.”
Jones nearly drowned at age five. His mother reacted — not by keeping him out of the water, but by enrolling him in swimming lessons, where he thrived. While swimming lessons are important, pool owners should take additional safety precautions to prevent drownings.
Three Tenets of Water Safety
A priority at Leslie’s is to spread awareness of three primary tenets of pool safety, including maintaining healthy and safe water, ensuring a secure pool area, and encouraging swimming lessons and water safety education.
Leslie’s is dedicated to helping its customers stay safe during swim season and all year long. To maintain clean and healthy water, regular testing is crucial to uphold proper water balance. Leslie’s makes it easy with its free AccuBlue in-store water test and treatment plan. The AccuBlue technology is a product of Leslie’s 60 years of water testing experience and the accumulated data from more than 50 million tests. AccuBlue covers 10 parameters and generates a water health score and customized treatment plan to help pool owners get their water back in balance. The company offers additional products, tools, and information to stay safe in and around the pool, from the latest in pool security fencing, gates, safety covers, and alarms to learn-to-swim products.
Encouraging swimming lessons and education, Leslie’s is proud to support the water safety efforts of the YMCA and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. From May 5 through October 31, 2023, Leslie’s will be accepting customer donations in all their more than 1,000 stores across the nation and online to support water safety programs. To benefit our communities, 100% of all donations will be split equally between the YMCA and Boys & Girls Clubs of America, both of whom share Leslie’s passion for water safety. Leslie’s and its customers have contributed more than $500,000 to these two nonprofit organizations. For the first time, Leslie’s is sponsoring the Phoenix location of the World’s Largest Swim Lesson, to be held at the South Valley YMCA on June 22, 2023.
Founded in 1963, Leslie’s is the largest and most trusted direct-to-consumer brand in the U.S. pool and spa care industry. The Phoenix-based Company serves the aftermarket needs of residential and professional consumers with an extensive and largely exclusive assortment of essential pool and spa care products. The Company operates an integrated ecosystem of more than 1,000 physical locations and a robust digital platform, enabling consumers to engage with Leslie’s whenever, wherever, and however they prefer to shop. Its dedicated team of associates, pool and spa care experts, and experienced service technicians are passionate about empowering Leslie’s consumers with the knowledge, products, and solutions necessary to confidently maintain and enjoy their pools and spas.
For more information about Leslie’s, visit lesliespool.com or follow and engage with us: @lesliespoolcare on Instagram, Leslie’s on Facebook, and @lesliespoolcare on Twitter.
About Cullen Jones
Cullen Jones is a four-time Olympic medalist and the first African American swimmer to hold a world record. He nearly drowned at age five in a water park in Pennsylvania and after that incident his mother enrolled him in swim lessons, and it soon became clear that Jones had natural talent as a swimmer. He dedicates a significant portion of his time to his role as a water safety advocate. He is a partner of Leslie’s, the most trusted consumer brand in the U.S. pool and spa care industry, as the voice of water safety, especially during May, Water Safety Month, and across the entire swim season.
About the Survey
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll on behalf of Leslie’s from April 25-27, 2023, among 2,050 adults ages 18 and older, including 687 parents of children under age 18. Results were weighted for age within gender, region, race/ethnicity, household income, education, marital status, and size of household where necessary to align them with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.
Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. The sampling precision of Harris online polls is measured by using a Bayesian credible interval. For this study, the sample data is accurate to within + 2.8 percentage points using a 95% confidence level. This credible interval will be wider among subsets of the surveyed population of interest.
All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to other multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including, but not limited to coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments.
“Parenting Hack” TikTok Video Puts Children At Risk of Drowning
A TikTok video shown as a “parenting hack” is raising alarms with pool safety experts.
A video gone viral on TikTok caught the attention of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA), which is sending a cautionary message to parents.
In the video, which is presented as a “Parenting Hack,” a mom suggests placing a playpen in a body of water as a way for both parent and child to enjoy the deep end of a lake or pool, “without having to worry about our little ones.” After being flagged by Tik Tok and many users, the video was removed, however not before having gone viral with several hundred thousand views and shares.
@niky.mamamd The only pool/water hack there is is being with your child at ALL times when they are in or near water. #pediatrician #poolsafety #poolsafetytips #summersafety #kidsafety ♬ original sound – Niky.mamaMD
As many in the U.S. prepare to enjoy the busiest water recreation season of the year, and with child drowning rates at historic highs, NDPA is raising a red flag to parents to ignore this irresponsible and dangerous advice.
Said Adam Katchmarchi, Ph.D., Executive Director, NDPA, “We implore all parents to disregard this message, and not put playpens in any body of water. This is not a recommended water safety measure and could put a child at an increased risk of drowning.”
To keep a child safe from drowning, NDPA recommends adhering to the Five Layers of Protection. Added Katchmarchi, “Drowning is fast and silent and can happen in as little as 30 seconds with no sound. Backyard pools, ponds, canals, lakes, rivers, and other manmade and natural water features that surround homes can be dangerous if the five layers of protection are not in place.”
Developed by NDPA with input from pediatricians, epidemiologists, and aquatics education professionals based on best practices in drowning prevention, the Five Layers of Protection to help prevent child drowning include barriers and alarms, supervision, water competency, use of lifejackets and other approved floatation devices, and emergency preparedness. No one practice should ever be used in isolation. To learn more about how to prevent drowning, visit NDPA.org/Layers.
The CDC states that drowning is the single leading cause of death among children ages 1-4, and the second leading cause of injury-related death for children up to age 14. According to reports from cities and towns across the U.S., childhood drowning rates have been steadily on the rise since 2019. In 2021, the number of child fatalities due to drowning was equal to as many as 11 school buses of children or almost 18 children per week. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that for every (one) fatal child drowning, another seven receive emergency department care for a non-fatal drowning.
About the National Drowning Prevention Alliance The mission of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance is “Elevating awareness to educate, advocate, innovate, and equip to prevent drowning.” NDPA seeks to reduce the incidence of drowning by creating a united alliance to address the single leading cause of death among children ages 1 to 4. To learn more, visit ndpa.org.
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