Pool entrapment law

On Monday, singer Usher Raymond’s 5-year-old son, Usher Raymond V, almost became another tragic pool drain statistic.

The boy was playing in the pool with his aunt when his arm became caught in the pool’s drain. His aunt, a nanny, and a housekeeper were unsuccessful in pulling the boy from the drain.

Sound technician Eugene Stachurski, who was installing AV equipment in the house, heard the women’s screams and dived into the pool. Stachurski pulled the boy from the drain and performed CPR on him. CNN reports that the child was “conscious, alert and breathing” when an ambulance transported him to a hospital. He was kept overnight for observation.

“My son is OK, but I have no further comment at this time,” the boy’s mother Tameka Foster told CNN Tuesday. She answered “I have no comment” when asked about media reports that her lawyer filed an emergency injunction to remove her two sons from Usher’s care on Tuesday.

Usher and Tameka were lucky. Their son was saved by a quick thinking contractor. But an inexpensive pool drain cover could have prevented the near-tragedy from happening.

Pool drains exert 200 pounds of pressure on children that become caught in the drains, making it nearly impossible to free them.

6-year-old Abigail Taylor’s parents lobbied for new legislation after Abigail was horrifically injured when she sat on a pool drain in a wading pool on June 29, 2007. The powerful suction of the pool’s pump sucked most of her large intestines and part of her small intestines out of her body through a 2-inch tear in her rectum. Despite multiple surgeries to repair the damage done to her organs, Abigail (pictured above left) succumbed to her injuries 8 months later.

In December 2008, President George W. Bush signed a law that “bans the manufacture, sale or distribution of pool drain covers that don’t meet anti-entrapment safety standards.”

The new law was named after Virginia Graeme Baker, the 7-year-old granddaughter of former Secretary of State James Baker, who died in 2002 when she became trapped by the powerful suction of a drain in a hot tub.

Her frantic mother, Nancy Baker, rushed to save her daughter. “I couldn’t understand why, despite all of my efforts, I couldn’t pry her free. I couldn’t get her off the drain,” Baker said.

The girl was “essentially cemented” to the bottom of the hot tub. It took two other adults to pry Baker’s daughter free from the drain. But it was too late to save Virginia.

Many children have lost their lives in swimming pools that are not outfitted with pool drain covers designed to prevent such deaths.

According to CNN.com, “the law applies to all pools with public access, including those at hotels, apartments and residential communities.” But many pool operators have not complied with the law.

CNN reports that the agency overseeing the law — the Consumer Product Safety Commission — is so small that it doesn’t have the manpower to enforce the law in every state.

Experts advise home owners to buy the new drain covers for their pools. But almost all residential pools in Georgia are still not fitted with the new drain covers.

“If you make the choice not to put on this cover, you’re leaving open the chance for a child to sit on a drain and then be so horribly injured that they’d be without their intestines, without their colon, and basically live a life on a feeding tube,” Nancy Baker said.

More from Sandrarose.com:

  • Usher’s Son in ICU After Nearly Drowning in Pool
  • 911 Audio: Usher’s Oldest Son Nearly Drowns; Youngest Son Naviyd Screams Hysterically, “He’s Faking!”
  • Usher’s Stepson (Tameka’s Son) in Critical Condition
  • Tameka Raymond’s son is brain dead