Drowning Prevention Grants Announced to End Leading Cause of Young Child Deaths
Washington, September 14, 2023
We can avoid these devastating tragedies by teaching children to swim, ensuring pools have the right safety equipment, and educating parents on the vital importance of supervising children in and near the water – and these grants are critical tools to help us do that.
Washington, DC – Today, U.S Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-25) joined the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in announcing the latest round of Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety (VGB) Act grants, which will pump $2 million into state and local programs designed to curb the leading cause of death among young children.
This legislation aids state, local, and tribal governments with education, training, and enforcement of pool safety requirements and anti-drowning efforts. Among the eight latest grantee recipients is $400,000 earmarked for programs across the state of Florida, and another for $194,535 that is directed toward safety efforts in Seminole County, Florida. The funding will be used to help hire and train safety instruction efforts around swimming pools and spas, and it is a vital part of a broader campaign to prevent these tragic deaths. Wasserman Schultz has been a national leader in drowning prevention throughout her public service career.
“We must do more to prevent drownings, the leading killer of America’s youngest children,” said Wasserman Schultz. “We can avoid these devastating tragedies by teaching children to swim, ensuring pools have the right safety equipment, and educating parents on the vital importance of supervising children in and near the water – and these grants are critical tools to help us do that.”
The grants program is made possible by the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety (VGB) Act. VGB was originally authored by Wasserman Schultz and was enacted in 2007, and was recently reauthorized in 2022 and signed into law by President Joe Biden. The most recent recipients include:
City of North Richland Hills Texas $319,485
DuPage County Health Department Illinois $378,853
Florida Department of Health Florida $400,000
City of Huntington Beach California $141,837
District of Columbia Health Department District of Columbia $64,530
Seminole County Florida $194,535
Harris County Texas $394,870
City of Amarillo Texas $107,853
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