Though children can swim year-round in indoor pools, the approach of warmer weather means that considerably more pool opportunities are available to them.
Before you allow your children to swim in any pool, make sure that the one you choose is in compliance with the VGB Act, which became law in 2007.
Background for the law
Seven-year-old Virginia Graeme Baker was a more than able swimmer. In fact, she was a member of a community swim team. She drowned when she became trapped in an underwater drain and could not free herself. Two men were finally able to free the girl, but the effort took such force that the drain cover broke. After Virginia’s death, her mother worked with Congress to pass a law requiring anti-entrapment drain covers in all swimming pools. In 2007, the president signed the VGB Act honoring Virginia into law.
Any pools in which your children swim should have drain covers that comply with the requirements of the VGB Act. For protection against entrapment underwater, pool owners must replace any non-compliant drain covers including those that have broken or missing parts. You can also verify that a licensed professional has inspected the pool. Before your children enter the water, remind them to stay clear of drains.
New drain design
The old drain covers, the kind that Virginia Graeme Baker encountered, were flat. They created a circulation that was strong enough to trap a strand of hair or even a body part. The new design is curved, and, as a result, a body part cannot fully block the drain. Stay on the side of safety and verify that the pool you and your children choose features the new standard in drain covers.