Senator Newman Meets with Parents of Drowning Victims, Discusses Pool Safety Legislation

Posted on 16 Jun 2017 for representative Josh Newman

Drowning is Second Leading Cause of Death for Children ages 1-4 Fullerton, CA - Senator Josh Newman met today with a coalition in support of his Senate Bill (SB) 442 to update the 20 year old residential Pool Safety Act. The Senator met with and listened to parents whose children drowned in pools, a local first responder, an Orange County PICU doctor, as well as pool safety advocates. “Meeting with these families today was humbling. Their stories are a powerful reminder that we can and must do more to prevent drowning across the state. No family should have to suffer the tragedy of losing a child,” said Senator Josh Newman. “That’s why I authored SB 442, which provides an update to the twenty year old Pool Safety Act and is one important step to help reduce future drowning related fatalities and injuries.” “My son Nicky was lost to a pool drowning,” said parent Carol Norman, whose 5-year old son drowned in a neighbor’s pool. “He went into a neighbor’s home, where the pool alarm was disabled, was invited to swim by his 5-year old friend, unsupervised, and drowned. We provide multiple safety barriers when it comes to other things that create risk for our kids such as cars, medications, food, cross walks, but we do not do the same with pools. Parents and pool owners need to have the help of multiple barriers so they never suffer the loss of a child, like I did.” Drowning is the second leading cause of death for children ages one to four, according to the Centers for Disease Control and the California Department of Public Health. From 2010 – 2014 there were 160 drowning deaths of California children in that age range. More than 741 children were hospitalized due to brain injuries caused by drowning. Background: The original California Pool Safety Act was passed in 1996 to address residential pool drowning. It required all new swimming pools constructed at single-family homes be equipped with either a permanent fence, a pool cover, exit alarms or self-closing devices on all doors providing access to the pool, or another safety feature providing as least as much protection as the specified four. The act was amended in 2006 to reflect the availability of two additional drowning-prevention features: removable mesh fencing and pool alarms that sound when a person enters the water. SB 442 would require residential pools to have two of the seven safety devices specified by the original act. SB 442 would also require a home inspector, at the point of sale, to include in their report which of the two safety devices the pool or spa has or does not have to help aide in compliance with the law statewide. Senator Josh Newman represents the 29th Senate District, which includes cities across Orange, Los Angeles, and San Bernardino Counties. ###