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Contact: John Procter
Phone: (800) 970-8420
www.poolsafetycouncil.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PSC Pool Alert: Texas School Girl Survives Pool Entrapment
Second Near-Death Entrapment This Week in U.S.

WASHINGTON, DC – July 9, 2009 – Pool Safety Council learned this morning of a near deadly pool entrapment in Texas on Tuesday at a public water park.

This marks the second near-fatal swimming pool entrapment in the country in one week, despite the enactment late last year of a federal law that required public pools install safety equipment to avoid entrapment. The news also comes on the heels of pieces by both CBS’ The Early Show and NBC’s The Today Show on how nearly half of the country’s public pools are not in compliance with the law.

“Two entrapments in one week are two too many,” Pool Safety Council spokesman John Procter said. “As Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman Inez Tenenbaum said on The Today Show Tuesday, if a public pool is not in compliance it should be closed. These entrapments could have been avoided had these pools installed Safety Vacuum Release Systems and safe drain covers.” CPSC is tasked with enforcing the law.

The entrapments come seven months after a federal law, the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, required all public pools install layers of protection to prevent entrapment. Those layers include an anti-entrapment device for single drain public pools, such as a Safety Vacuum Release System, and approved safety drain covers for all pools.

Tambra Walton, the victim’s mother, said the small, shallow water park outside of Houston, Texas caters to young children, so she assumed her child was safe when she was swimming there Tuesday. Walton added her family has their own pool, and her daughter is a strong, daily swimmer.

But the child’s skills were no match for the powerful suction of an unsafe pool drain. According to Walton, the child became entrapped on a side drain in the pool for several seconds, and could only come loose with the help of her 11-year-old cousin. She was left with a large bruise on her inner thigh, where the overpowering drain suction occurred.

Walton was shaken by the accident, but was horrified by the pool staff’s lackadaisical response. Walton asserts they only glanced at the drain where the accident occurred and took no action to fix the drain. “They just gave her a pack of ice [for the bruise],” Walton said.
Walton’s daughter was one of two known entrapment victims on Tuesday – the other, a five-year-old boy from Pembroke Pines, Fla., nearly drowned. Walton noted she is worried future entrapment victims will not safely escape. “The concern is that a weaker swimmer or younger child may not have been so lucky,” she said.

PSC is a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention of child drowning nationwide.  For more information, please visit our web site at: www.poolsafetycouncil.org.

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