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Federal Pool Safety Legislation Passes

Bill seeking to end childhood drowning heads for President's signature
December 18, 2007

(Washington, DC) -- Legislation that seeks to end hundreds of preventable childhood deaths each year passed the House of Representatives today as part of a larger Energy Bill. The legislation had already passed the Senate, so the legislation goes to the President, who has indicated he will sign the legislation into law.

Rep. Wasserman Schultz introduced The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety in the House of Representatives to combat drowning, the second leading cause of accidental death for children ages one to fourteen years old. The legislation provides incentive grants to states that pass legislation implementing layers of protection to help prevent childhood drowning and establishes an educational outreach program to alert people to the potential dangers posed to children by pools and spas.

"Quite simply, the passage of this legislation means that fewer children will die from drowning in swimming pools or spas," said Rep. Wasserman Schultz. "335 children died in the United States in 2004 and basic pool safety legislation would have dramatically reduced those childhood fatalities."

"This is a strong bill that will help improve product safety standards and consumer education efforts," said Rep. John D. Dingell, Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce (MI-15). "Debbie has demonstrated tremendous leadership in crafting this legislation. As a result of her efforts American children will be safer."

The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act uses as a model existing Florida pool safety legislation, the "Preston de Ibern/McKenzie Merriam Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act," that U.S. Rep. Wasserman Schultz introduced in 1998 and passed in 2000 while serving as a Representative in the Florida State Legislature.

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