EDINA, MINN. – May 14, 2012 – To raise awareness of Drowning Prevention and Awareness Month this May, and as public pools begin opening Memorial Day weekend, Abbey's Hope Charitable Foundation is working to educate parents on drowning prevention and the dangers of entrapment with a renewed commitment to its mission.

Abbey's Hope is launching its efforts with a completely redesigned website and public service announcements airing on radio and TV.

May is also the month of remembrance for Abigail Taylor, namesake for Abbey's Hope Charitable Foundation, whose birthday is May 24. In 2007, a faulty drain cover in a public wading pool injured Abbey. She required a complete liver, intestine and pancreas transplant and nine months later she died of complications from her injury.

"Five years ago, Scott and I lost our daughter in a completely preventable accident," says Katey Taylor, Abbey's mother and co-founder of Abbey's Hope. "It only takes a few seconds for drowning or entrapment to occur. We want parents to know how important it is that they monitor their kids at all times, even when lifeguards are present. By doing so, we believe tragedy can be prevented."

As public pools open this month, parents can do their part in these four ways:

  • Avoid dangerous drains – If you spot a loose, missing or broken drain cover, report it to the pool or spa operator immediately. Tie up long hair or secure with a swim cap and warn children to stay away from drains or other openings.
  • Teach swimming and lifesaving skills – Make sure your children know how to swim, float, tread water and get in and out of the pool safely. Take classes in First Aid and CPR.
  • Install barriers – Add a four-to-five foot high fence surrounding the pool on all sides. Gates should be self-latching and locking. Spas and hot tubs should be covered and locked when not in use.
  • Be vigilant – Make sure an adult is watching children in the pool or spa at all times.

Scott Taylor, Abbey's father and co-founder of Abbey's Hope says, "Our daughter's wish was that no child should have to suffer as she did. We work tirelessly to keep Abbey's hope alive."

The Dragonfly Story

Excerpted from the eulogy at Abbey Taylor's Celebration of Life Service

Below the surface of a quiet pond lived a colony of water bugs. They were happy, living far from the sun. But they noticed that occasionally, a member of their colony would climb up a lily stalk and disappear from sight, never to return. Where do you suppose she went? wondered a water bug.

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Pool Safety Tips

  • Use the Water Watchdog System to make sure children are always closely supervised in the pool area.

  • Remind kids to stay away from pool and hot tub drains.

  • Never dive into water less than 9 feet deep.

  • Keep gates to the pool area latched.

More water safety tips