The pool drain accident involving the 5-year-old son of singer Usher is spurring the Consumer Product Safety Commission to remind the owners of home pools and spas to make sure that their pool’s drains meet safety standards. The drains that meet these federal requirements are readily available with suppliers.
Usher’s son, Usher Raymond V, was hospitalized in Georgia after a near-drowning accident that happened when he fell to the bottom of the singer’s swimming pool and got stuck in the drain. It took more than one person to free the boy from the drain. CPR was administered to him.
Fortunately, the boy is expected to fully recover and he is now back home. However, many kids are not as lucky.
Between 2008 and 2012 alone there were least 39 child deaths or serious injuries involving kids that were eviscerated or entrapped by pool drains. Drain entrapments can happen when a child or an adult’s body part, hair, or clothing gets caught.
At The Gilbert Law Group®, our drowning accident lawyers represent victims and their families injured in drain entrapment and other swimming incidents. Our child injury attorneys are here to help our clients obtain financial compensation for the harm suffered.
Pool drains are found in both swimming pools and hot tubs. In 2007, the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act became law. Named after the granddaughter of former US Secretary of Sates James Baker who died in a drain entrapment accident when she was7-years-old, the law requires that public pools only use regulation approved anti-entrapment drain covers. According to USA Today, there have been no public pool drain deaths since the law went into effect. While this ban cannot be enforced on private pool owners, the law does prohibit the manufacture, distribution, or sale of drain covers that fail to meet anti-drain entrapment standards.
Even if a child is lucky enough to survive a pool drain entrapment incident, the injuries that result can be catastrophic. Permanent brain injury is a possibility, especially if someone is entrapped by the drain for too long. Internal organ evisceration injuries also can happen.
One 6-year-old girl, Abigail Taylor survived for months after her drain entrapment accident in a wading pool. Her intestines got partially sucked out and she was forced to undergo liver, small bowel and pancreas transplants. Unfortunately, complications resulted and she eventually died.
It is important to note, too, that adults are at risk of pool drain entrapment drownings and evisceration.
Steps to Prevent Drain Entrapment Accidents (CPSC):
• Make sure the pool or hot tub is fitted with a pool drain that meets anti-entrapment standards.
• Make sure kids don’t get too close to pool drains and never let them swim unsupervised.
• Keep loose or long clothing, long hair, or jewelry away from pool drains.
• Know how to turn off the pool or spa pump off and if someone gets entrapped in a drain, shut the pump down right away.
• In the event of drain entrapment, rather than trying to pull the victim off the drain suction, try putting your fingers between his/her body and the drain to break the seal and roll the person off the device until they are free.
• Call for emergency/medical help right away.
Contact our child injury law firm today.