With summer fast approaching, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission has revealed its latest figures on child drowning injuries and deaths in pools and spas. According to the CPSC, almost 300 children under age 5 drown in spas and pools annually, while 3,000 young kids sustain injuries that require emergency medical attention. Also:
- 2/3rds of the victims killed or injured in pools and spas are toddlers, ages 1-2.
- 80% of drowning deaths take place in residential settings.
- Between 1999 to 2008, 69 injuries and 11 deaths occurred due to spa and pool entrapment accidents.
Last December, the Federal Pool and Spa Safety Act went into effect. The
new law makes it a requirement for all public spas and pools to install
drains that prevent drain entrapment accidentsfrom happening. The drains
are arched and designed to prevent a person’s hair or another body
part from getting suctioned into the drain.
In 2007, 6-year-old Abigail Taylor sustained a catastrophic injury when the drain of the wading pool she was in suctioned out a portion of her intestinal tract. She had to undergo transplants of the small bowel, pancreas, and liver and could only be fed through an intravenous tube. She died from her pool drain injuries last March.
The new pool spa and safety act is also known as the Virginia Graham Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act. The law is named after former Secretary of State James Baker’s granddaughter. Virginia was just 7 when she drowned after getting caught in a spa’s suction. Unfortunately, there are pools and spas in the US that have yet to install these new drains because they have not been easily available.
There are also the dangers that pools and spas can pose because the owner failed to surround the pool or hottub with a protective barrier designed to prevent children from getting into the water unsupervised or to provide proper supervision or adequate safety measures for when people are in the pool or spa.
When you think about the fact that a child can easily drown in as little as two inches of water, our personal injury law firm, known for our work with injuries to children and minors cases, cannot do enough to emphasize the importance of making sure that the proper safety precautions are in place to prevent tragic drowning deaths. Even a near-drowning accident can prove catastrophic, with many children that survive forced to live with permanent brain damage.
CPSC Announces New Report on Child Drownings and Near-Drownings in Pools and Spas, CPSC, May 21, 2009
Pool drains pose risk to swimmers, NewsChannelKTIV, May 13, 2009
Girl Whose Intestines Were Partially Sucked Out by Swimming Pool Drain Dies, Fox News, March 21, 2008
Related Web Resources:
Virginia Graeme Baker Pool Spa and Safety Act (PDF)
Keep an Eye on your Kids, Drowning is Preventable!, WestCov.org
Our products liability law firm represents the families of young children that were seriously injured or died in drowning accidents in pools and spas. Contact Gilbert & Ollanik, PC today.