Published: Sep 28, 2011 8:19 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal regulators are changing course on a law aimed at keeping swimmers, especially children, from getting trapped in pool drains.
    
The new guidance requires public pools with a single main drain to have a back-up system that could shut the suction of the drain. Previously, operators of those pools were told they could fit their drains with a special cover designed to prevent entrapments.
    
The move means thousands of public pools in cities and towns will have to take a fresh look at their drains, and probably have to buy costly back-up systems. Some may close if they don't have the new equipment by next May.
    
The 2008 law was passed after several horrific child entrapment deaths, including the 7-year-old granddaughter of former Secretary of State James A. Baker.

(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)