212555 Safety and Beauty in Residential Swimming Pool Design

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Billie Weiss, MPH , Epidemology, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Background/Purpose: Toddler drowning in residential pools is preventable by using layers of protection. Despite overwhelming evidence of effectiveness, it is difficult to convince the public and the pool industry that child safety and aesthetically pleasing designs can co-exist. Recent focus on the issue by Consumer Product Safety Commission provided an opportunity to shine attention on the compatibility of child safety and backyard aesthetics. To educate and encourage Architecture and Design Students to consider the safety of children in their future professional residence designs the Drowning Prevention Foundation, Pacific Life Foundation, California Coalition for Childhood Safety and Health held a Pool Safety Design Contest between March and June 2009.

Methods: Eight schools were eligible to compete. Students submitted designs for residential pools highlighting effective layers of safety for children and aesthetic options of importance to the designer and homeowner and complying with applicable state and local ordinances.

Results: The winning design submitted by two students from the UCLA School of Architecture received a $5,000 cash award.

Conclusion: The winning entry included a beautiful and child safe residence with pool and spa which incorporated all of the eight required safety features plus a few innovations. The design was selected for permanent installation on the schools website. The contest accomplished it's purpose; architecture and design students became aware of the need to consider child safety when designing a residence in which children would live. Child safety is now included in the curriculum in the eight participating schools of architecture and design.

Learning Objectives:
1)Identify the challenges to incorporating drowning prevention strategies in residential pool design. 2) Discuss innovative methods for attracting new professionals in becoming advocates for child safety. 3)Demonstrate a successful strategy for incorporating aesthetics and safety into residential swimming pools.

Keywords: Water, Safety

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been an injury prevention practitioner and researcher for more than 25 years, I have published at least one paper in AJPH on drowning and drowning prevention.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.