Swimming is a recreational activity many children in PA and NJ can’t get enough of during the summer. Parents should be extra vigilant when taking their children to community pools.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), between 2008 and 2012, at least 39 children died or were seriously injured when they were trapped by pool drains in public and private pools.
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In 2008, the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act was passed, which required public pools to have anti-entrapment drain covers. This law was named after the late granddaughter of former Secretary of State Jim Baker, who drowned in 2002 after she was trapped under water by the powerful suction from a hot tub drain. The 7 year old girl had been swimming on her own since she was 3; however, she could not pull herself free from the suction of the drain.
The Act does not apply to private home pools. However, drain covers cost less than $100. Home owners can buy pool drain covers to avoid injuries to their children or their children’s friends.
Serious Injuries From Poor Drains
The suction of pool drains is very powerful, and children’s limbs can easily get trapped or their internal organs may be eviscerated. An evisceration is a very gruesome abdominal injury in which an intestine or some other internal organ protrudes through an open wound. Children may eventually die due to the evisceration injury.
Further, kids who are entrapped by pool drains may sustain permanent brain injuries due to the extended time being under water. The oxygen is cut off, and children may become brain damaged.
Children’s Injuries At Private Homes
If children are injured at their friends’ pools due to uncovered drains, the friends’ parents or home owners may be liable for the children’s injuries. Even though it is not required that private home owners place drain covers on pool drains, they may still be found liable.
For example, a guest child goes to her friend’s house to swim. Her foot gets stuck in the drain, and she suffers a brain injury after being in the water too long. If a similar incident happened 3 weeks before this incident where an adult’s foot got stuck in a pool drain, and the pool owners knew that they should put a cover on the drain, but forgot to do so, then then owners may be liable for the child’s injuries. The owners knew that they needed to put a cover on the drain, and that the drain can suck someone’s foot or arm in. Due to their negligence and failure to act, the child is hurt and she may be entitled to financial compensation.
If your child was injured in a pool related accident or drowning, call Daniel J. O’Brien, Esq. to schedule a FREE case evaluation. Mr. O’Brien is a seasoned personal injury lawyer in PA and NJ and has helped many injured victims. 877.944.8396