A few years back, the Consumer Product Safety Commission came out with a measure that required all public pools to install covers on drains. The move was considered necessary in order to reduce the risk of injury or fatality which can occur if a child gets their body stuck in the drain itself.
This measure, called the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, has been looked upon as a success since it came into being in 2008. Since the mandate was finalized, there have been no recorded fatalities associated with public pool drains.
But that safety track record does not carry over to private pools, where drain covers are not mandatory. The issue has received increased attention due to an incident yesterday centering on pop star’s child, who got stuck in the drain at a private pool. Although the child was rescued, the situation has served to bring the matter to the fore.
The CPSC has no jurisdiction over private pools, but in the report linked to above, a spokesperson points out that homeowners ought to get drain covers installed anyway thanks to the benefit to safety they provide. Starting in 2008 and leading up to 2012, 39 fatalities or serious injuries among kids have been associated with drain incidents. Even when children escape, they could face serious internal trauma or lifelong brain injuries due to the length of time spent in the water.