Small children are especially vulnerable to injury in and around swimming pools because they are curious, energetic and at the same time weak. Statistics indicate that drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death in children below 14 years of age. For children between 1 and 4 years old in that group, the leading cause is a residential swimming pool accident.
Drains are a necessary part of swimming pools. It circulates and filters the water that provides so much enjoyment to children of all ages. However, there is a dark side to those little holes at the bottom of any home or public swimming pool that can spell danger to children.
What most people may not know is that while relatively rare, the suction of a swimming pool drain can cause injuries, even death through circulation entrapment. This means that aside from drowning, drains can capture and hold body parts to the extent of disembowelment, such the case of 6-year-old Abigail Rose Taylor, who later died of her injuries. And because children are usually too weak to pull themselves free, most fatalities due to drowning because of circulation entrapment are children. There is the case of Virginia Graeme Baker, the 7-year old that drowned when she was trapped by the force of a drain’s suction to the bottom of the tub, prompting the passing of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act.
It is therefore important to keep an eye on small children at all times when they are in swimming pools, whirlpool tubs, hot tubs, spa or anything that has a drain. It doesn’t take a lot of water, or time, for a child to get sucked in and stuck. Even when no serious injury or death occurs, it can traumatize a child considerably. Only vigilance can keep a child from a swimming pool accident.