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Dangerous Pool Drains Are Still Killing Children


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9/23/2010
Brent Adams
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Swimming pools can be very dangerous places, especially for young children. On average 385 children under the age of 15 were killed in America’s swimming pools during the years 2005 to 2007.

Approximately 4200 children are treated each year in emergency rooms for injuries ranging from minor cuts to near drowning.

A significant portion of injuries and deaths in swimming pools suffered by children are caused by swimming pool drain suctions.

Since 1985 there have been more than 150 cases of swimming pool drain entrapments. These entrapments lead to at least 48 deaths and many serious injuries.

Among the most serious injuries are disembowelment of children who sit on or otherwise get too close to pool drains.

Most swimming pools have intake valves through which pool water is sucked out to run through the filtering system. This water is suctioned through the intake valves and is then pumped through the filtering system under suction before being pumped back into the pool.

On July 28, 2007 young Zachary Cohn, an excellent swimmer was killed when his arm got trapped in a valve on the wall of the pool’s deep end. The powerful suction of the drain trapped him in the pool and drowned him. Zachary’s death was unnecessary. The company which installed the pool failed to install a required safety device that would have prevented Zachary’s arm from being caught in the drain.

A 2007 federal Law named for young Virginia Graeme Baker required anti-entrapment devices in public pools. Virginia drowned in June of 2002 after being entrapped by suction in a hot tub in McClain, Virginia.

Recently, the Consumer Protection Safety Commission voted three (3) to two (2) to interrupt the law as not requiring a back up anti-entrapment device on certain pools that have an anti-entrapment drain cover. Consumer advocates claim that such covers are not enough to protect children and prevent entrapments. These drains are subject to improper installation or inadvertent removal.

The parents of Zachary Cohn formed a foundation named "The Zach Foundation" to advocate pool safety. Zachary’s father said that there is not a real voice representing the families of children who play in pools.



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