Congress Approves Swimming Pool Drain Safety Bill

December 20, 2007

Congress approved legislation this week aimed at strengthening pool safety, six months after a 6-year-old girl was seriously injured by a drain’s powerful suction.

The legislation would ban the manufacture, sale or distribution of drain covers that don’t meet anti-entrapment safety standards. The House approved it as part of an energy bill, following Senate passage last week. President Bush plans to sign it.

On June 29, Abigail Taylor of Edina, Minn., was injured when she sat over an open drain hole in a wading pool at the Minneapolis Golf Club. This week, she had a transplant operation for a small bowel, liver and pancreas at Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, said the family attorney, Bob Bennett. She was listed in serious condition Tuesday.

It was thought that Abigail would need a feeding tube for the rest of her life, but the transplants could make that unnecessary, Bennett said.

The legislation, the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, is named for another victim, the 7-year-old granddaughter of former Secretary of State James Baker. She drowned at a graduation party in 2002, when the suction from a drain pinned her.

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