COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., May 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Red Cross and National Swimming Pool Foundation® today announced upgrades to the online Home Pool Essentials™: Maintenance and Safety course website, which teaches pool and spa care and water safety techniques to help homeowners and guests stay safer year-round.
A recent Red Cross survey of more than 1,000 adults found that nearly half of Americans say they have had an experience where they were afraid they would drown. In addition, the survey showed that half of those polled had never taken swimming lessons, with African-Americans (32 percent) less likely to have received formal training.
The Home Pool Essentials online course –available at www.homepoolessentials.org – can be taken from any computer, anytime, anywhere and is popular with homeowners, foster and adoptive parents, health advocates, child service organizations, daycare workers, group homes, home inspectors and insurance carriers.
People who log onto www.homepoolessentials.org will find new free tools from the experts including how-to water safety tips and a free course demo. Simpler navigation, fast-loading, quickly downloadable images and content make it easier to register and take the course. The online course costs only $19.95, and is available for 6 months with a 30-page downloadable, printable resource guide. The fee helps support these two non-profits.
"People flock to water for fun family time," said Thomas M. Lachocki, Ph.D., CEO with the National Swimming Pool Foundation. "We are glad this convenient and inexpensive course can help make more happy life memories in a safer environment."
There are nearly 11 million backyard pools, over 7 million hot tubs and 309,000 public pools in the United States, according to P.K. Data, Atlanta, Ga.
"Our Red Cross survey found that nearly two-thirds of families with children plan on swimming in an area without a lifeguard this summer, including home pools, and the Home Pool Essentials course will help pool and spa owners provide a safer environment for their family and friends," said Peter G. Wernicki, MD, who is a member of the Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council and the chair of its Aquatics Sub-Council.
Through interactive learning, videos, exercises and short quizzes, and the downloadable resource guide, this two-hour course teaches important lessons, such as how to take steps to:
- Lessen the risks of home pool ownership and operation
- Identify appropriate safety equipment
- Provide layers of protection such as preventing unsupervised access, establishing rules and enforcing safe behaviors, and ensuring that everyone knows how to swim well
- Prevent pool and hot tub entrapment hazards
- Prepare for and respond to aquatic emergencies
Home Pool Essentials doesn't just focus on safety. It also shows participants how to reduce ownership costs by maintaining cleaner, safer pools and hot tubs. Though pools and spas bring a lot of joy, there are certain risks and responsibilities with having water, chemicals and equipment near the home.
"Pools can be frustrating to keep clean and clear. Home Pool Essentials is a great resource to help prevent problems," said Dr. Lachocki. "Owners will find Home Pool Essentials useful even if they hire service companies or rely on a professional pool store."
Details: Telephone survey of 1,011 U.S. Adults 18 years and older on April 11-13, 2013.
SOURCE National Swimming Pool Foundation; American Red Cross