EDINA, MINN. – July 10, 2012 – According to a recent Minnesota Department of Natural Resources report, the number of drownings in the state has reached a 10-year high with 25 non-boating deaths so far this year.

 “We are alarmed at the disturbing number of drownings that have already occurred this summer,” said Katey Taylor, co-founder of Abbey’s Hope and mother to Abbey Taylor, who died of complications from injuries due to an improperly maintained pool drain. “Many of these tragedies could have been prevented by wearing a life vest and with active parental supervision.”

With families continuing to seek relief from the summer heat, Abbey’s Hope would like to remind parents to do their part in these five ways:

  • Be vigilant – Make sure an adult is watching children in the pool or spa at all times.
  •  Wear life jackets – When near the water, remind children and those with the inability to swim that they need to be wearing life jackets at all times.
  •  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.
  •  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.
  •  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.

Parents can learn more about how to keep their swimmers safe at abbeyshope.org.

About Abbey’s Hope:

Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation is a Minnesota nonprofit organization named after Abbey Taylor, the Edina, Minn., 6-year-old who died in 2008 as a result of injuries sustained in an improperly maintained pool drain cover.

The Foundation’s goal is to:

  • Promote awareness of and education related to child safety issues, including educating pool owners, operators, inspectors, and the general public about the dangers of pool entrapment, evisceration and drowning and the need for physical inspections of pool equipment.
  • Work with the pool and spa industry to improve the design of its products, packaging and warning labels, and assist in the development of product safety standards related to such products.
  • Identify and provide support and assistance to organizations and programs that help educate parents, children, and pool and spa manufacturers about the prevention of entrapment and traditional forms of drowning.  

Find out more about Abbey’s Hope at http://abbeyshope.org.

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