Swimming Pools May Be in Violation

There are an estimated 300,000 public pools in hotels, schools, camps and parks and thousands of public pools may be in violation of a new federal safety rule, says a national consumer group, putting many children at risk for personal injury in Florida and across the county.

The National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF) estimates about half of the pools your child is using this summer may have failed to install the new required anti-entrapment devices. Named for Virginia Graeme Baker, who in 2002 died when suction from a hot tub drain kept her pulled to the bottom and she drowned. The NSPF estimates about half of the public pools that are supposed to be retrofitted with the new dome style drains have not been updated.

George Pellington of the Pool Safety Council told CBS in a report that he’s seen the unsafe drain covers in many pools that have not yet complied with the law.

The problem is that a body can actually seal off the covers which then create hundreds of pounds of suction that cannot be broken. The problem has been three-fold because there is not enough enforcement, there are not enough drains, and not enough pool owners understand the new code.

What can parents do?

Parents can look for drain covers that are dome or pyramid shaped. Parents can also inquire if there are new pool drain covers that are recognized by any one of three organizations that conduct testing on drain covers and issue certification. They are: the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), Underwriters Laboratories (UL), and the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF).

Lastly, and hopefully you will never experience this, if a child or adult is trapped, you can break the suction by turning off the pump for the pool. Then break the suction by putting your arm between the person and the drain and roll them off.

Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death of children under the age of 14, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

In addition, there have been 83 reported entrapment incidents reported to the CPSC from 1999 through 2008. Among these are eleven fatality reports, including the accident that ended Virginia Graeme Baker’s life in 2002.

The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that for each drowning there are up to four more children who nearly drown, some serious enough to require hospitalization. Many are permanently disabled.

As personal injury attorneys in Jacksonville, we understand that families who have lost a loved one, especially a child, due to another person’s negligence endure much grief and that no monetary amount can ever act as replacement. However, if you’ve lost a loved one in a wrongful death incident, we may be able to help you receive compensation from negligent parties for funeral expenses and other losses associated with the accident. Contact Farah and Farah today for a free consultation.