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Summertime brings with it days filled with watersports and, for most Florida families, lots of activities in the family pool or at public or resort swimming pools. Unbeknownst to most swimmers and parents, poorly designed pool drains can be extremely dangerous to young swimmers, especially in shallow pools, children’s pools, and wading pools. More often than you would expect, children have lost intestines and suffered horrible internal injuries after sitting on drains and becoming trapped by the strong suction of the pool’s pump system. In many cases over many years, severe internal injuries have occurred.
Recently, a six year old girl in Minnesota suffered this same fate. Abigail Taylor sustained a tear in her rectum and lost much of her small intestine after sitting on the drain of a wading pool. She then required surgical removal of much of her intestinal tract. Now, she will likely have to receive her nutrition from an implanted port for the rest of her life.
For years, many states have had code requirments to prevent these injuries. Laws and regulations in those states require pool systems to have suction relief or automatic shut-0ff devices to prevent serious injuries from the powerful suction of pool drains. But that doesn’t mean that the installer or manufacturer will always comply with those statutes. So, parents must be always vigilant to protect their children from these dangerous defective products. If your child is playing in the pool, train them to stay away from pool drains and suction holes for pool vacuums and pool cleaners. Educate your children that these areas of the pool can be dangerous and are OFF LIMITS. In addition, if you don’t know what kind of system your pool has, have a professional inspect it for suction relief devices or controls, as well as any other desired safety equipment. And then, have fun safely.
If you or a member of your family are injured while using any kind of product, remember, the accident may have been preventable with proper and safe design or manufacturing. If you think you or a loved one may have been injured by a defectively designed or manufactured product, call CGWC for a free consultation.