Health officials to hold conference to study pool safety

Health officials plan to hold a conference this week to discuss pool safety, citing a lack of available data and lack of resources to address concerns.

The conference, scheduled for Monday in Philadelphia, is intended to share best practices for pool safety in the wake of the deadly April accident that killed five people in a pool in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

While the conference is being held without an advisory from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Association of Poison Control Centers, the National Pool Association, and the American Society for Occupational Safety and Health are expected to participate, according to a copy of the agenda obtained by The Wall Street Journal.

The agenda lists an attendance of more than 500 people, and includes a discussion of a pool safety protocol that has been in place for nearly two decades.

The protocols, which were approved by the National Academy of Sciences in 2013, have been criticized by many for lacking proper testing, including for people with allergies, people with medical conditions, and people with mental health issues, among others.

The meeting is being organized by the American Academy of Occupational Medicine, the Association of Pool Administrators, the Society of Pool Instructors, the International Pool Association and the Pennsylvania Pool Safety Institute, according a copy.

In addition to a list of participants, the agenda also mentions a call for an update on the National Association of Home Health Care Providers’ recommendation for pool training, an updated policy on pool use, and recommendations for pool instructors and supervisors.

The pool safety issue has become a lightning rod for criticism after the accident, in which an employee of a spa and two of her male friends drowned while they were diving in a nearby pool, and an incident in which a pool instructor and two pool workers drowned while working in a Pennsylvania county.