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Warning: Home pool drain covers deadly for children

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Updated: 8/09/2013 8:20 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A warning to parents! There could be a hidden danger in your pool that is now being blamed for almost killing a Hollywood star's child.

A freak accident prompted a frantic call to 911, as a 5-year-old boy clung to life.

"He's going to be OK," said the person to the dispatcher.

R&B singer Usher is lucky his son Usher Raymond V is alive after he nearly drowned in a backyard pool when the boy got stuck to the drain.

"He was very fortunate that somebody was supervising him or watching, and able to rescue him from the situation with the drain. But of course, other children have not been that fortunate. There have been fatalities as a result of entrapment," said Cynthia Dennis, with Safe Kids Northeast Florida.

The granddaughter of former Secretary of State James Baker was one of them. Virginia Baker was reportedly trapped underwater and suctioned to a hot tub drain.

That tragedy in 2002 sparked legislation, requiring that all public pools install a dome-shaped drain cover to prevent these kinds of accidents.

"There's plenty of room in there for fingers, hair or an article of clothing to get sucked in, or if somebody is poking their finger in there, for a child to get trapped," said Dennis.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there have been 12 deaths and 89 injuries from 1999 to 2011 due to entrapment.

Now the CPSC is urging home pool owners to make the switch.

"Older pools may not have the appropriate safety drain, although they need to," said Dennis.

Action News made some calls to get a cost estimate on these drain covers, and found that they can range between $50 to $100. We also found out that if you want to get those covers installed, you have to drain your pool first, or have someone do it for you. That can cost anywhere from $100 to $250.

For more information on water safety, click here.
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wishmistress - 8/9/2013 6:09 PM
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Or you can just turn the pump off while you're in the pool.
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