Minneapolis, MN (November 25, 2014) - Winter has arrived early this year, even for Minnesota. In an attempt to ward off the cold, many families across the state will undoubtedly vacation at hotels and motels in warmer climates. Abbey's Hope Charitable Foundation wants to remind families and parents of small children that hotel and motel pools & spas must be compliant with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.

This federal law, signed by President Bush in 2007, ensures all swimmers and bathers are protected from drain entrapments. Among other things, this law requires that:

a. All drain covers manufactured or sold at stores must be safe anti-entrapment drain covers. It is now illegal to sell older dangerous covers.

b. All public pools and spas, which include those at hotels and motels, must be retrofitted with newer anti-entrapment drain covers.

"Abbey's Hope is very proud of the critical role it played in passing the federal law which has been very effective. There has not been a single death due to entrapment in a public pool since the passage of the Act, but not all pools and spas around the country are compliant yet," said Scott Taylor, co-founder of Abbey's Hope Charitable Foundation and father of Abbey Taylor who died due to a dangerous drain at a public pool. "Please remind pools and spa operators to check their drain covers to determine if the dangerous drains have been replaced with the safer compliant drains."

If you visit a pool that you think might be dangerous, please report the facility to the Consumer Product Safety Commission at its website, www.saferproducts.org. If you spot a dangerous or missing drain at a public pool or spa, do not enter the water and immediately report the condition to the facility operator.

Public pool and spa owners and operators should consult with pool and spa service professionals to make sure their public facility is in compliance with the federal law. For a summary or the entire text of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, click here.

Parents and hotels and motels can learn more about how to keep their families and guests safe during vacation 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 from 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