The ZAC Foundation and CPSC Pool Safely Campaign Announce Partnership

The ZAC Foundation and CPSC Pool Safely Campaign Announce Partnership

Stamford Awarded Pool Safely Grant to Combat Pool and Spa Drownings and Drain Entrapments; Host First Water Safety Camp

Stamford, Conn. (August 15, 2016) – The ZAC Foundation – a national leader in water safety education and drowning prevention – and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) Pool Safely campaign, today announced a partnership focused on addressing child drownings; a serious public safety crisis.

The Pool Safely campaign is designed to prevent fatal and non-fatal drownings and drain entrapments in swimming pools and spas across the country and The ZAC Foundation will work closely with CPSC to expand water safety messages nationwide.

One initiative the two groups are collaborating on together is through a grant CPSC’s Pool Safely campaign has awarded the City of Stamford, which brings water safety education to the children of Stamford. This grant provides state and local governments with financial assistance to help implement enforcement and advance education programs with the goal of preventing drownings and drain entrapments.

Local children will get to experience The ZAC Foundation’s award-winning ZAC Camp at the Stamford Family YMCA from Monday, August 15-Thursday, August 18 from 9 am to noon dailyZAC Camp teaches children the importance of being water safe through a weeklong set of lessons that teach children critical tools to ensure safe swimming, including fundamental stroke training, emergency preparedness and response, and basic lifesaving techniques specific to their water environment.

ZAC Camp is named in honor of 6-year-old Zachary Archer Cohn of Greenwich, Conn. who drowned as a result of being trapped by the suction of a swimming pool drain.

This time-tested curriculum used at ZAC Camp employs classroom education, in-pool swim lessons, and instruction from First Responders to teach easy-to-learn tenets of water safety. The Camp shares these lessons through the children’s book co-authored by Zachary’s parents, The Polar Bear Who Couldn’t, Wouldn’t SwimThe ZAC Foundation will also donate a hardcover copy of the book to each camper.

While the children of Stamford will get to experience this exciting week of education at the Stamford Family YMCA, the City of Bridgeport was also awarded a CPSC Pool Safely grant to expand on current water safety education and hosted a ZAC Camp in June.

“Drowning is a public health crisis that requires us all to come together to combat,” said CPSC Chairman Elliot F. Kaye. “Today’s announcement is a big step forward toward saving lives, especially of children. Through our Pool Safely partnership with The ZAC Foundation, we will work together to address child drownings and to prevent children from becoming entrapped on dangerous pool and spa drains. This announcement builds on our strong, collaborative working relationship. In 2015, we teamed up with Karen Cohn and Olympian and 3x gold medal winner Rowdy Gaines at a ZAC Camp in Camden, N.J., and got to see the excitement in the eyes of the children as they were given a safe environment to have fun and learn about water safety. Together, we can provide more children and more families with the tools they need to stay safer in and around the water.”

“We need many voices focusing on water safety and drowning prevention, and our partnership with Pool Safely provides opportunities for other communities, including those in our home state, to learn the valuable water safety lessons of ZAC Camp,” said Karen Cohn, Zachary’s mother and co-founder of The ZAC Foundation. “Drowning is 100 percent preventable when the proper precautions are taken, and as a mom who lost a child to drowning from a pool drain entrapment, I want to make sure that no other family has to experience this loss.”

The Pool Safely Grant Program, a first-of its kind grant program aimed at preventing pool and spa drownings and drain entrapments, is authorized through the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, (VGB Act) that was signed into law December 2007.


Media Relations Contact:

The ZAC Foundation-Danielle Hagen,, 202.365.6112

About The ZAC Foundation
The ZAC Foundation was established in 2008 by Karen and Brian Cohn after the loss of their 6-year-old son Zachary Archer Cohn in a pool drain entrapment in their backyard swimming pool.  Through education and advocacy, the Foundation is dedicated to preparing children and their families for a lifetime of swimming safety.  To learn more about The ZAC Foundation, connect with us on FacebookTwitter and

About Pool Safely

Pool Safely, a national public education campaign supporting the requirements of Section 1407 of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, works with partners around the country to reduce fatal child drownings, non-fatal drownings and entrapment incidents in swimming pools and spas. Parents, caregivers and the media are encouraged to visit: or @PoolSafely on Twitter for vital safety information regarding the prevention of child drownings in and around pools and spas.

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August 15, 2016