A faulty pool drain cover can lead to serious injuries, and the beginning of the summer season is a good time to review basic safety measures that pool-owners should keep in mind to avoid a disaster.
Since December 2008, the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act requires that anti-entrapment devices be installed on drains that resist UV degradation and prevent body parts from becoming trapped due to suction.
The act was named for a girl who died in 2002 when the suction from a spa drain entrapped her under the water.
NSF International, a public health and safety organization, has therefore offered suggestions to help create a safer swimming environment. They include making sure properly-sized drain covers are installed and teaching children not to play with or remove a drain cover.
Moreover, it is a good idea to drain any standing water from the surface of the pool cover, as small children can drown in even the smallest amount of water. Before allowing anyone to swim, the cover should be completely removed.
Finally, a key to avoiding accidents is responsible adult supervision at the pool side at all times.
For additional safety, some people have chosen to surround their pool or spa area by a fence with a self-latching mechanism to prevent unauthorized entry on to their property.
NSF quotes figures from the Consumer Product Safety Commission which indicate some 300 children under the age of 5 drown each year and 5,000 to 6,000 are severely injured as a result of faulty draining systems.