Swimming Pool Safety Advocates Say Law Isn’t Working

A federal law designed to prevent children – and sometimes, even adults – from being sucked in and trapped by a pool or spa drain isn’t working, pool safety advocates say. The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, named for the 7-year-old granddaughter of former secretary of State James Baker, who died in a hot tub in Northern Virginia in 2002 after getting trapped by the drain, was passed by Congress in 2007. But a recent recall of more than 1 million pool drain covers designed to fix the problem - just the latest of many setbacks - highlights how difficult the implementation of the law has become, the law's backers say.

Nancy Baker, the mother whose lobbying efforts helped get the law passed, says the implementation of the law has been “botched.” The law was supposed to award more than $4 million in grants for states to bring their pool safety codes up to federal standards. Not one state has done so.

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