Minneapolis, MN (April 7, 2015)- It’s official! Spring is here – even if it doesn't quite feel like it yet. As families battle cabin fever at indoor pools and waterparks or on vacation, Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation reminds parents to do their part to keep children safe around the water.

As a parent whose child died of complications from injuries due to an improperly maintained pool drain, co-founder of Abbey’s Hope, Katey Taylor, is no stranger to pool dangers. “Pools and waterparks always pose a risk whether lifeguards are on duty or not, but parents can do their part to prevent tragedy by staying vigilant.” Here are a few easy ways to keep your kids safe this spring and summer:

  • Become a Water Watchdog – Make sure an adult watches children who are in the water at all times. Find out more about the program, take the pledge and get a free Water Watchdog tag here.
  • Wear life jackets and keep proper lifesaving devices nearby – When near the water, remind children and people who have difficulty swimming to wear a life jacket 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. Many organizations also offer classes in First Aid and CPR every Spring.
  • Avoid dangerous drains – If you see a loose, missing or broken drain cover, report it to the pool operator or hotel management immediately. If a drain cover is missing or broken, do not swim in the pool until it is fixed. 

The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, passed by Congress in 2007, requires that all public pools, including those at hotels, motels and resorts be equipped with anti-entrapment safety drain covers, but many pools and spas still have not been converted. Abbey’s Hope recommends that you ask the pool and spa owner or operator to make sure that the correct drain covers are installed.

Learn more about how to keep 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 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 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