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Be aware of the dangers of drain entrapment this summer

It’s been a hot and steamy summer for New York residents. The humid weather makes it all the more attractive to spend the day hanging out at the pool.

If you and your family are planning a late summer getaway, make sure that your kids aren’t at risk for drain entrapment.

Many parents aren’t even aware that this can be a real hazard. Drains in spas and pools create strong suction that can trap a child or even an adult underwater, drowning or eviscerating them within minutes.

Here’s how it can happen. An open drain often lures a child to play with the suction. At first, it’s fun to press a body part up against the sucking force. But it can quickly turn lethal if the limb or tissue gets swollen from the suction and traps the unwitting swimmer underwater.

Sometimes it’s inadvertent, as can happen if a swimmer’s long hair gets entangled in the suction. When they realize they are stuck, they can’t break free and drown.

Both the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommend that all spas and pools be designed or retrofitted with safety vacuum-release systems (SVRSs) and other safety features to reduce the likelihood of preventable deaths and injuries in pools.

Remember that when it comes to kids and water, there is no substitution for parental supervision. But the property owner bears liability for ensuring that there are no safety hazards to harm the guests. If this summer’s vacation is ruined by an unfortunate incident involving a pool or spa, you may be able to take legal action and recover financial damages.

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