With warmer weather approaching the Houston area, so is the concern for accidental drowning. According to the Department of Family and Protective services in July there were already 112 child drownings in Texas for 2009. Unfortunately this death rate is increasing at an alarming rate, but can be prevented.
According to government statistics private and apartment pools are the most common places for school-age kids drowning. Residential and public swimming pools and spas are a leading recreational activity for both kids and adults; however, few people are aware of the hidden dangers posed from pools and spas.
Drains and suction entrapments can be very dangerous. Drains with missing, broken or faulty covers can be deadly. Not only can it entrap the body and limbs, but also hair, jewelry and clothing. The victims may suffer drowning, disembowelment, evisceration, permanent disability and brain injury.
In an attempt to prevent such injuries, in 2008 the Federal Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (VGBA) went into effect. This new law requires all pool and spa drain covers in the US to comply with new entrapment standards. The VGBA requires owners to install safety equipment on all new and existing public swimming pool and spa suction outlet systems. These certified suction outlets and covers are designed to prevent entrapment, which can cause severe injury even death.