Public Pool Safety

Public Pool Safety
Public pools hire lifeguards to watch over swimmers, but historically another danger has lurked underwater. Powerful drains can pin and entangle swimmers, prompting a federal law to improve safety devices in public pools.


Drowning is the second-leading cause of injury-related death in children under age 14. In 2004, 761 children died of accidental drowning, according to the federal Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act of 2007.



Public pool safety has two major components: ensuring that the pool itself contains no hazardous drains, and ensuring that the area around the pool is supervised and secure.


Drain covers that comply with federal law reduce the risk of children becoming pinned or entangled. Certified lifeguards prevent drowning and other pool-related accidents, and securing the area wards off intruders at times when the pool is unsupervised.


While the public generally recognizes the danger of drowning, most people fail to recognize the danger that drains present. According to Safe Kids USA, about two-thirds of parents know little or nothing about those hazards.


Visit only pools that hire certified lifeguards and that comply with the federal safety standards set forth in the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act of 2007. In addition, Safe Kids USA offers parents and guardians a printable and wearable tag reminding them to keep swimming children in sight at all times.


Article Written By John Zaremba

John Zaremba began writing professionally in 1997. He has worked at some of the country's finest small daily newspapers, including "The Beacon News" and "The Patriot Ledger." Zaremba is a graduate of the University of Illinois.

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