Remember the VGB Act whenever your child enters a swimming pool

Drowning is a tragedy that takes mere seconds, but children become statistics every year.

In California, kids can swim all year long. What is the VGB act and why should you bring it to mind when your child enters a pool?

The issue

Drowning is a swift and silent death. It can happen in seconds. One of the ways this kind of tragedy can occur in a swimming pool is drain cover entrapment at the bottom of the pool. Today, every public pool should comply with the VGB Act. As a parent, you should become familiar with this piece of legislation and check to make sure any pool your child uses is in compliance.

The VGB Act

Seven-year-old Virginia Graeme Baker was a good swimmer who belonged to her community swim team. Unfortunately, she was unable to pull herself free after becoming stuck to a faulty drain cover. Although she drowned, the official cause of her death was suction entrapment. Virginia’s mother worked with members of Congress to enact legislation requiring anti-entrapment drain covers for pools and spas. Named in Virginia’s honor, the VGB Act became law in 2008.

Your next steps

Following the enactment of the VGB legislation, swimming pool owners had to comply with new standards, which involved making drain covers safer. Before your child enters a swimming pool for the first time, confirm that a licensed professional has performed an inspection. There should be no broken, loose or missing drain covers or the pool owner could face liability. Pay close attention whenever your child is in the water to make sure he or she is safe and enjoying a carefree day of swimming.

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