8-Year-Old Girl Drowned in Houston Hotel Swimming Pool

An 8-year-old girl was reported missing at the Doubletree Hotel in Northwest Houston at around 6:00 p.m. Saturday night, March 23, 2024. The girl evidently was a guest of the hotel, presumably with her parents or other family members. According to authorities, the first was last seen around the pool area at the hotel before the reported disappearance.

Not being able to locate the girl directly after the report of her gone missing, hotel staff and law enforcement officers directed that the pool be drained. Later in the evening, when the draining process was completed, the body of the missing child was found inside a pipe that served the pool.

Preliminary Investigation Indicates Child Somehow Sucked Into Pipe Connected to Hotel Pool

Information about the death of the child, and how she ended up inside a pipe connected to the pool, is very limited at this time. Foul play is not suspected and preliminary statements from investigating police officers indicate that the child drowned, likely having been somehow sucked into the pipe in question.

A growing, although not officially stated, consensus at this juncture is that the cover for the pipe that should have been in place was missing, broken, or otherwise defective. Unfortunately, these types of scenarios occur

The number of people entrapped by pool drains or service pipes varies from one year to the next. With that said, an average of 10 such incidents occur in any given calendar year. Of that number, approximately five such incidents prove fatal, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. A majority of victims of these types of pool drain accidents, including those that prove fatal, involve children. While most of these types of drowning incidents occur in residential swimming pools, a considerable number have happened in resort and hotel swimming pools during the past decade.

Basic Steps to Prevent Swimming Pool Drain Entrapment Drowning Accidents

Resorts and hotels with swimming pools are obliged to keep these recreational areas in a reasonably safe condition. There are some basic steps that need to be taken to prevent swimming pool drain entrapment drowning accidents of the type that appears to have occurred at the Houston Doubletree Hotel:

  • Install multiple drains in your swimming pool: A swimming pool should not be limited to just one drain. Multiple drains help diffuse the suction effect created by the water circulation. The presence of a single drain can lead to a strong and potentially hazardous suction effect. However, by having more drains, the pressure gets distributed and the risk of someone getting trapped due to the suction is significantly reduced. This is an important step in ensuring swimmer safety.
  • Cover all drains with anti-entrapment drain covers: Drain covers are not just for aesthetics, they serve a crucial safety purpose. Specifically, anti-entrapment drain covers are designed to prevent a swimmer from being trapped by the suction created by the drain. These covers have a specialized design that diffuses the suction effect. Ensuring that all swimming pool drains are fitted with such covers is a critical safety measure.
  • Install a Safety Vacuum Release System (SVRS): This is a system that adds another layer of safety to your swimming pool. An SVRS works by automatically detecting if there is any obstruction, such as a swimmer, blocking the drain. Upon detection, it immediately shuts off the pool pump or interrupts the water circulation to release the suction, thus preventing any possibility of entrapment.
  • Regularly inspect and maintain all pool equipment for safety: Ensuring the safety of swimmers does not end with the installation of multiple drains, anti-entrapment covers, and an SVRS. It's essential to regularly inspect and maintain all pool equipment. This includes checking the drain covers for wear and tear, making sure that the SVRS is functioning correctly, and ensuring all pool equipment is in good working order. Regular inspections and maintenance are key to preventing accidents and maintaining a safe swimming environment.
  • Educate and supervise children near drains or suction outlets: Children are naturally curious and may not understand the dangers associated with swimming pool drains and suction outlets. It's important to educate them about the risks and always supervise their activities when they are swimming or playing in or near a pool. This is especially crucial in spas and shallow pools where the suction outlets may be closer to the surface. By doing so, the risk of children getting trapped by the suction effect can be substantially minimized.

Protect Your Legal Rights

If you’ve lost a loved on in an incident like the Houston Doubletree Hotel swimming pool drain entrapment drowning accident, the dedicated and experienced legal team at The Doan Law Firm is here for you. We can schedule an initial consultation with a Houston drowning accident lawyer any time that is convenient for you. Keep in mind that The Doan Law Firm never charges an attorney fee unless we win your case for you.