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.
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