CPSC Hearing Statement

A drain cover that met the standard and that was properly installed would have prevented the Taylor’s tragedy.
Consumer Product Safety Commission // Tuesday, April 5th
On Tuesday, April 5th the Consumer Product Safety Commission held hearings with several members of the pool industry regarding current and future pool and spa safety measures. Below is Abbey's Hope Charitable Foundation's reaction to the hearings on April 5th.

Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation was pleased that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) organized and held a public hearing related to the anti-entrapment efforts being implemented by the CPSC and the pool industry. The testimonies offered by the pool industry professionals along with additional questions posed by the CPSC helped bring to light improvements that can be made to the mandatory pool safety standards that all drain covers must comply with prior to being installed in public pools. One of the Foundation’s goals is to make sure that anti-entrapment drains covers, and the systems that support them, are properly manufactured so that they serve the safety purposes intended by the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act. With summer fast approaching, it is particularly important that pool and spas here in Minnesota and all around the country meet the requirements of the law. Abbey’s Hope shares the CPSC’s commitment to ensure every pool and spa is as safe as possible.

Our Foundation, however, would hope that the CPSC, manufacturers and pool and spa operators not only make sure that the standard itself serves a safety purpose, but also that the safety equipment currently installed in pools around the country meets the standard. If, upon investigation, it is determined that drain covers being used this very day do not meet the existing safety standard and, therefore, pose a risk to bathers and swimmers they should be removed from the marketplace immediately. The CPSC should be policing the marketplace to serve that very end. Manufacturers and pool and spa service companies should also commit to ensuring that the drain covers and other safety devices being used today or installed in the future meet the standard. Entrapment, hair entanglement and evisceration is a danger and a hidden hazard worth preventing. Faulty or poorly maintained drains are a danger that Scott and Katey Taylor, founders of Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation, know all too well. In the summer of 2007, 6-year-old Abbey Taylor, daughter of Scott and Katey, was entrapped and disembowelled by the suction from an improperly installed and maintained pool drain. Abbey fought bravely through 16 surgeries and an organ transplant, however, after 9 months of fighting, Abbey passed away. In her name and in her memory, the Foundation, among other things, serves as an advocate for safe pools by educating and promoting comprehensive safety standards for all pools. A drain cover that met the standard and that was properly installed would have prevented the Taylor’s tragedy.

As summer is just around the corner, Abbey’s Hope wants to remind parents and pool owners alike about pool safety; always actively supervise children in pools, talk to children about not playing near or with drains, bathers should tie up any and all loose hair, never rely on arm floaties or other play items for safety and make sure you know CPR. 

ABOUT ABBEY’S HOPE CHARITABLE FOUNDATION: Abbey’s Hope Foundation was created as a tribute to 6-year-old Abigail Taylor of Edina, Minn., who was disembowelled in a kiddie pool on June 29th, 2007. After a triple organ transplant and numerous surgeries, Abbey passed away on March 20, 2008. Abbey’s hope was that what happened to her would never happen to another child. In her name, the Foundation works fiercely to safeguard kids, both in and out of the pool, against preventable harm.

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