WASHINGTON, May 22 (UPI) -- All public pools and spas are required to have safety drain covers, and in certain circumstances, an anti-entrapment system, U.S. officials said.
"The Consumer Product Safety Commission is calling upon all public pool and spa owners to comply with the new federal law and we urge parents to never let their children out of sight when they are in or around a pool or spa," Nancy Nord, acting chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission said in a statement.
The federal pool and spa safety law was signed into law Dec. 19, 2007.
New Consumer Product Safety Commission data show from 1999 to 2007 there were 74 reported incidents involving pool entrapment, resulting in nine deaths and 63 injuries. The entrapment incidents involve being trapped by the force of suction at the drain and can occur because of a broken or missing outlet cover.
Drowning occurs more commonly when children get access to a pool during a short lapse in adult supervision. To reduce the risk of drowning, pool owners should have a fence completely surrounding the pool with self-closing, self-latching gates. If the house forms a side of the barrier, use alarms on doors leading to the pool area and/or a power safety cover over the pool, Nord said.