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Is the VGB act followed in the pool where your child swims?

Drowning takes only seconds and it can occur if your child is exposed to suction entrapment.

Before you allow your child to swim in any pool, make sure the covers for the drains are in compliance with the law named after a seven-year-old drowning victim.

About the VGB Act

Seven-year-old Virginia Graham Baker was a good swimmer and a member of the swim and diving team in her community. She was trapped underwater when her hair became entangled in a drain. She could not pull herself free and drowned, although the official cause of death was suction entrapment. The 2007 VGB Act, named in her honor, is a law that requires all public pools to have safety devices in place, such as anti-entrapment drain covers. These are newly designed curved covers that replace old, flat drain covers with a strong circulation that can trap hair or a body part. The new drains cannot become blocked by a hand, head or other body parts.

Young children most at risk

According to estimates provided by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, as many as 300 children a year who are five years old or younger drown, and for these small tykes, drowning only requires a few inches of water. In fact, statistics gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that more children between the ages of one and four die from drowning than from any other cause. Thousands each year suffer injuries; brain injuries, especially. The VGB Act has made swimming pools safer but tragic accidents continue to occur any time children are around water.

Checking the venue

There are many ways children could be in danger at a swimming pool. They could slip and fall on a wet surface or fall into the water through lack of a proper fence or gate. Then there is the suction concern. Whenever a child is going to swim in new surroundings, parents should always confirm that the pool is compliant with the VGB Act and equipped with anti-entrapment drain covers.

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