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Most pools in the United States have drain covers without shut off valves. This is a severe danger because children can get trapped in the drainage system and drowned. What happens is that the drain in the pool creates a suction from the pool filter pump. The child can get their hair or body part caught in the drain suction and can’t escape. This has caused hundreds of injuries and at least thirty deaths in the United States alone.

This is not a new problem. In fact, the problem is so prevalent that the U.S. Congress in December 2007 passed a law to require pool manufacturers to comply with safety standards to prevent this danger in public pools. A recent survey by ABC News showed that the defective pool drains still exist in 75% of the public pools in the Country. Think about that, these are public pools maintained for use by the public, not private pools. Most citizens have no idea of the danger created by these defective pools and further would expect that the public pools at least would comply with the minimum governmental standards. Sadly, they do not.

What can we do? Contact your local city or county agency that maintains the public pools and ask them to maintain the pools in compliance with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act. Safety drain covers and shut off valves are cheap fixes, especially when compared to the life long care needs for a brain damaged child caught in a pool drain.

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