December 5th, 2013 by Jacqui Blanton

Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act

Virginia Graeme Baker was a 7-year old girl who drowned at the bottom of a hot tub. She was Nancy and James Baker IV’s youngest daughter, who happened to be a twin as well. She was an experienced swimmer and had been able to swim without any assistance at the age of 3.Her death came about when she became stuck to a hot tub drain and was unable to pull herself fee. Her mother’s attempts proved unsuccessful as well and she was eventually pulled free by two men who pulled so hard the drain cover itself broke. Virginia may have drowned to death, but the real cause was her entrapment due to a faulty drain cover.

After her death, her mother lobbied congress to win support for a law that required anti-entrapment drain covers and other safety devices. The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act or P&SS Act, was signed into law December 2007, it was named in her honor. The law requires anti-entrapment drain covers and other safety devices in an  attempt to reduce child drownings, educate the public regarding the importance of constant supervision of children in or around water, as well as reducing deaths and injuries related to suction entrapment incidents.

To read the act itself, go to http://www.poolsafely.gov/pool-spa-safety-act/read/.

Virginia Graeme Baker