If your child is going swimming in a Maryland pool located in a hotel or a public area, you should check to make sure that the pool owners have installed the new pool drains that have been approved by the federal government. The Virginia Graeme-Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act of 2007 went into effect last December and by this time public pool owners and spa operators were supposed to have installed these drains that are designed to prevent pool entrapment accidents from happening. Unfortunately, not all pool and spa owners have met this deadline.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission says that between 1999 and 2008, 83 children were involved in spa and pool entrapment accidents, resulting in 69 injuries and 11 deaths. Just this April, a 38-year-old man drowned in a pool entrapment accident involving a hotel pool drain. And kids, who are smaller in size, are at particular risk of becoming the victim of pool or spa entrapment accidents in the event that their hair, a body part, or swimsuit gets trapped in a drain’s powerful suction.
The CPSC says, however, that defective pool drains are not the only issue of concern for parents when it comes to protecting their kids while they are swimming. Every year, approximately 300 kids drown and 3,000 others sustain serious injuries in pools and spas throughout the US. In addition to pool entrapment injuries and drowning accidents, another cause of injury can occur when a child dives into the water and strikes his or her head on the bottom of the spa or pool.
While drowning accidents can prove fatal, those that do survive are sometimes left disabled for life because they sustained atraumatic brain injury. A child or adult that strikes his or her head against the bottom of the pool can end up with a spinal cord injury, a TBI, or broken bones.
There are steps that public and private pool and spa owners can take to protect adults and kids from getting hurt in a swimming accident. Failure to execute these safety precautions can be grounds for a Maryland premises liability claim or a wrongful death lawsuit.
Safety Concerns to Delay Opening of Some Maryland Pools, WJLA.com, May 23, 2009
CPSC Announces New Report on Child Drownings and Near-drownings in Pools and Spas, CPSC, May 21, 2009
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