Washington DC--May 22, 2013- Today, Katey Taylor stood alongside Chairman Inez Tenebaum of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz at the press conference that kicked off the fourth year of the CPSC national pool and spa safety campaign, Simple Steps Save Lives. The American Red Cross also participated in the press conference to spread pool and spa awareness.


The unofficial start to the pool and lake season over Memorial Day weekend fills some people-like Katey Taylor- with apprehension.

In 2007, Katey and Scott Taylor's six-year-old daughter, Abbey. was disemboweled by a faulty pool drain and despite a liver, intestine and pancreas transplant, died nine months later. The Taylors co-founded Abbey's Hope Charitable Foundation in their daughter's name, dedicating the organization to preventing drownings and entrapments and keeping kids safe in the water.

With Minnesota seeing a record number of 39 drowning deaths during 2012, Katey's apprehension has only increased.

"The good news is that each and every one of the deaths you have heard about today are completely preventable," said Katey. "Believe me, Abbey's Hope Charitable Foundation wants children to get out and enjoy swimming pools, water parks and lakes. They are great fun and a super source of exercise, but that does not mean we can let our guard down."

Katey shared the following prevention tips:

  • Watch for loose, missing or broken drain covers. Do not enter a pool if a broken or missing drain cover is spotted. Instead, notify the pool operator immediately. Warn children to stay away from drains to avoid entrapments.
  • Enroll children in swim classes. Swimming is not just a great life skill. It is also a important life-saving skill. 
  • Every pool needs a fence surrounding it on all sides. Gates should be self-locking. Keep spas and hot tubs covered and locked when not in use.
  • Be vigilant. Make sure an adult is watching the children in the pool, spa or lake at all times. Maintain constant visual contact with children even if a lifeguard is present.

Katey thanked Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz and Chairman Tenebaum's agency for their advocacy and leadership in passing and executing the first ever national swimming pool safety legislation, The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.

"Over the past several years, Abbey's Hope has worked very closely with Chairman Tenebaum's agency to prevent drownings and entrapments," said Katey. "I will be forever grateful to these two leaders."

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.

Read More

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