and casting the
product in a negative light. Suction entrapment, in particular, is an
issue that has resulted in industry in-fighting and finger pointing over
exactly how widespread the problem is and who should be held
responsible, But one thing is clear: If industry members don't take
aggressive steps to solve the problem soon, forces from outside the
industry may do it for them.
lawsuits have yet been filed in the Baker case, a family spokesman
issued a statement to Pool & Spa News, clearly indicating
that the writing is on the wall.
"The swimming pool
and spa industry has been well aware of these risks since the late
1970s," says Robert T. Hall, an attorney for Nancy and James Baker IV,
Graeme's parents. "Their products are especially hazardous to children.
Since the 1980s, there have been at least 147 entrapment incidents
documented, resulting in 36 deaths."
Hall goes on to
say that the Bakers plan to hold the industry accountable for the
suction entrapment phenomenon.
"We pledge to do
all within our power to see that this industry meets its obligation to
an unsuspecting public," he says. "[Graeme's] senseless death should be
a wake-up call for this industry to accept responsibility for all such
deaths and injuries and be accountable for the decades it has ignored
Today, the general
public and even many within the industry, remain unenlightened when it
comes to this issue. What exactly is suction entrapment and how does it
happen? More importantly, how often does it happen?