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Thread: Usher's swimming pool entrapment

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    MiaOKC's Avatar
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    Usher's swimming pool entrapment

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/0 ... Bslider%2B

    Have you seen this story? The little boy is very lucky to be recovering after an entrapment in the main drain. I'm sure more details will come out as this goes through the courts, but I am surprised to hear that the drain cover on this pool allowed a 5-year-old's arm be be pulled in. I am guessing it to be a case of either the cover being off entirely or broken or something.

    As we contemplate our pool remodel, we are planning to reinstate our main drain (it was capped at some time during the years) and put in dual drains at least three feet apart. What else should we be looking for to keep the drain from being a hazard?
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    Re: Usher's swimming pool entrapment

    Been all over the news here, on one of the pictures you can clear see one single main drain.

    I haven't heard that he got his arm stuck in the main drain yet. Don't see how that could happen if there was a cover on it. They keep saying "fell" to the bottom, do they mean swam to the bottom, stuck arm in hole, got stuck?
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    Re: Usher's swimming pool entrapment

    I hadn't seen the pictures, just stumbled across this article today - I don't think it's been big news here in our state or I've just missed it. I saw in one of the comments that the caretaker had him swim to the bottom of the pool to retrieve a toy and his arm got stuck in the drain.
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    Re: Usher's swimming pool entrapment

    Yeah, this makes no sense to me....

    I have two main drains...plus a Skimmer. Everything has it's own valve....so I can shut her all down except one main drain. I have a 3 year old, so I've tested this.

    I can swim to the bottom and press my whole body/arm/hand/head and other body parts against that single main drain and NO WAY does it suck me in....I do have a large "cover" to diffuse the flow of course...so are stories like this just ignorance of the PB or Home Owner ?

    Or is my pool just unique ?
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    Re: Usher's swimming pool entrapment

    Quote Originally Posted by MiaOKC
    I hadn't seen the pictures, just stumbled across this article today - I don't think it's been big news here in our state or I've just missed it. I saw in one of the comments that the caretaker had him swim to the bottom of the pool to retrieve a toy and his arm got stuck in the drain.
    I read that comment too, it's just not being reported by the news yet. That is much more plausible then they are reporting.

    Picture is here

    http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/ap ... ush/nZGJg/

    This video claims the boy reached in the drain as that comment did

    http://www.wsbtv.com/news/entertainment ... ool/nZGMz/
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    Re: Usher's swimming pool entrapment

    Yes, the pic sure looks like a single drain - and kind of a dark hole, like perhaps there isn't a cover (at least at the time of the pic, maybe it was pulled off when freeing the child).

    I know how to turn my equipment on and off to stop the suction, but I couldn't swear that a babysitter or nanny or grandparent would know, remember, or, in the terror of the moment, think to do so. I think I may have read about some sort of auto-switch that will trip the pump off if the drain is clogged? That is something we will be looking into as we remodel and add drains. For the same reason I'll have an auto-closer on my new gate with a keypad lock.
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    Re: Usher's swimming pool entrapment

    I am not sure I would intentionally try to get stuck to a drain without some safety precautions (scuba gear and someone watching from the surface)
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    Re: Usher's swimming pool entrapment

    Quote Originally Posted by toofast
    Everything has it's own valve....so I can shut her all down except one main drain.
    This technically makes your pool NOT VGB compliant unless you also have a SVRS device installed in the plumbing or on the pump. The whole purpose of dual main drains is so that you can't possibly have just one turned on.
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    Re: Usher's swimming pool entrapment

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1
    I am not sure I would intentionally try to get stuck to a drain without some safety precautions (scuba gear and someone watching from the surface)
    Yeah, I kind of left out the details.

    My wife was watching and I had a poor mans scuba gear on....(I won't even try to explain)

    But I felt safe just in case...I could have stayed under quite some time stuck - and my wife was to kill the pump if she saw me struggle, etc.
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    Re: Usher's swimming pool entrapment

    A single drain can be a problem because there is no way to way to relieve the suction without turning off the pump but if there is a cover on it that meets the ANSI/ASME standard I can't see any way that any part of a body could be sucked in. From the looks of it, it would seem that there either was no cover or the cover is damaged. I'm in the process of completing my first pool and the Hayward covers I have for my drains have holes that I couldn't even get a pencil into. I also noticed that the covers are clearly marked as being good for 3 years. Makes sense to replace them at that interval since they are pretty difficult to inspect for fatigue and cracks.

    It's scary how something that is such a source of joy for children can also end the lives of so many. It's too easy for people to become complacent and let little items go around the pool like sticking gate hinges, balky latches and broken alarms. I've seen these problems at several houses I've been to with pools.
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    Re: Usher's swimming pool entrapment

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    Quote Originally Posted by toofast
    Everything has it's own valve....so I can shut her all down except one main drain.
    This technically makes your pool NOT VGB compliant unless you also have a SVRS device installed in the plumbing or on the pump. The whole purpose of dual main drains is so that you can't possibly have just one turned on.
    Dang...I honestly did not know that, and it appears that my pool builder did not either...I don't want to sidetrack this thread...so I won't ask any more questions.

    I just googled and now I know though....
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    Re: Usher's swimming pool entrapment

    Quote Originally Posted by diyindux
    ...
    It's scary how something that is such a source of joy for children can also end the lives of so many. It's too easy for people to become complacent and let little items go around the pool like sticking gate hinges, balky latches and broken alarms. I've seen these problems at several houses I've been to with pools.

    The actual statistics show that pools are safer than many other things kids do, pool related injuries and deaths are just so widely reported, for a quick comparison in a random recent year there were 611 bicycle related fatalities (all ages) vs about 400 swimming pool related deaths per year from drowning (all ages) with about 75% being under the age of 5, although the exact statistics are hard to find as they tend to get lumped in with all drownings, one report shows 137 children under 15 died in pool accidents during last years swim season (total drownings in the U.S. are much higher around 3,500 per year, but many happen in lakes, rivers, floods, bathtubs, etc.), another report shows between 1999-2007 there were a total of 6 pool drain entrapment and 3 spa entrapment deaths of kids.

    Ike

    p.s. here is another one for comparison in one year (1999) 733 children under the age of 14 were struck and killed by vehicles while walking
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    Re: Usher's swimming pool entrapment

    Certainly there are things that pose more risk to children than a pool, but to me losing 300 kids under the age of 5 per year is tragic. Pools are built for enjoyment and relaxation. The fact that the attraction to a pool is so powerful for small children is unfortunate.
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    Re: Usher's swimming pool entrapment

    I agree it is tragic, but have to wonder how those statistics break out between such things as unauthorized entry into the pool area (kids climbing fence), unsupervised toddlers falling in, vs horseplay where one kid holds another under water, etc. Regardless of the actual specific break up numbers it does pale in comparison the the roughly 2,200 kids under 14 that are killed in traffic accidents in the U.S. each year.
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    Re: Usher's swimming pool entrapment

    Ushers son was clearly being supervised, or he would have drown. I think this example boils down to lack of safety equipment. The drain cover would have had to have been removed I'm guessing for an arm to get in a drain.

    Supervision is key, along with the ability to swim, of parents and the kids. Pool owners should go through a basic lifeguard course.
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