Another Child Dies Due to Pool Drain System

One of the least known dangers for children is pool drains, which can have such powerful suction that they can hold a child under water or even pull organs from their bodies. Abigail Taylor, 6, died this week after struggling with the aftermath of such a nightmare: a wading pool drain at the Minneapolis Golf Club in St. Louis Park, Minn. pulled out part of her intestinal tract.

Despite a transplant operation, Abigail’s body could not fully recover from the grotesque assault upon it. Her parents, Scott and Katey Taylor, are now champions for legislation to prevent similar accidents and Congress has passed some reforms in the last few months. The legislation bans certain drain covers and is named after the 7-year-old granddaughter of former Secretary of State James Baker. — the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act. Graeme was drowned in a pool in 2002 when a drain held her under water.

In the meantime, the Taylor family is suing the golf club and Sta-Rite Industries, the pool equipment manufacturer owned by Pentair of Golden Valley. The lawsuit could do more for children than the legislation if successful.

In addition to pools, one of the other little known dangers is street drains. These large openings are often found near corners and have a horizontal opening of a half a foot to a foot. With rushing water, they can easily suck a child into the sewer system where many have been trapped and killed. Many states have laws requiring shields or limited the height, but I routinely see drains that are obviously not in compliance in areas with many children.

For the full story, click here.

8 thoughts on “Another Child Dies Due to Pool Drain System”

  1. JT:

    Business owners are masters at protecting us from the little things that cause bumps and scrapes ( I’ll bet there were three signs warning kids not to run at the pool) and completely ignoring the major hazards that can kill patrons or their loved ones. It always amazes me when I confront some of these company reps with the well-known dangers that exist in their business, and I am met with a complete (and honest,I think) state of disbelief. Why should I know the business better than the owner? In fact, the public is sometimes better informed about the hazard, which makes for an interesting dichotomy in the law where the customer knows more about the assumed risk than the business owner offering it. In any event, kids under age 12 are not usually capable of negligence, so I think Great Wolf Resorts are taking a tremendous risk whether they actually know it or not.

  2. Sheesh! This is just the kind of thing a Risk Manager loves to know about before the nearly ‘predictable’ happens. It helps immensely with the “knew or should have known” glitches in CGL Insurance defenses you guys were just discussing AND with keeping those premiums down…

    Besides, NO family wants to see their child’s tiny intestines sucked out of his/her little body, nor drowned, while just trying to catch some R&R.

    How frightening…!

  3. Mespo:

    Perhaps, but I spoke with the manager out of curiosity. He said that 99 percent of the injuries are slip and falls. It is an open and obvious danger that they are not sued over. Of course, when things go really wrong, I am sure it is pretty darn bad.

  4. JT:
    That little piece of factual information will be conveniently forgotten when the inevitable wrongful death case is filed.

  5. As an interesting aside, I was just at the Great Wolf Lodge when I posted entry. I took the kids into the water park and spotted a manager quietly floating a fake baby into the various pools to check the response time of the lifeguards. I also noticed that the guards routinely looked at the bottom of the water and drains.

Comments are closed.