Child Safety

10 Years Later, Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act Is Saving Lives

Yesterday, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, or CPSC, observed the 10-year anniversary of the signing of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act. And a decade after it was signed into law by then-President George W. Bush, the Act is saving lives. CPSC has, says the agency, gone a full decade without so much as a single child drowning death in a public pool or hot tub due to drain entrapment.

The Act was prompted by the death of 7-year-old Virginia Baker, who died in 2002 after becoming trapped by a hot tub’s drain mechanics. Baker was the granddaughter of James Baker who, in his career, served as White House Chief of Staff, Secretary of State and Secretary of the Treasury.

The Act was signed into law in 2007. It has since been credited with dramatically lowering the number of drowning deaths in people of all ages.

“CPSC’s Pool Safety campaign exists because of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act,” said Ann Marie Buerkle in the agency’s press release about the anniversary.

The child is the namesake of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act.

Nancy Baker holds a photo of her daughter, Virginia Graeme Baker. Photo courtesy CPSC.

Virginia’s mother added, “That many lives have been saved and families spared unimaginable grief is the greatest tribute to the memory of the children who lost their lives due to inadequate safety requirements and the lack of comprehensive drowning prevention education.”