A four-year-old girl has tragically drowned in Florida in the U.S. after she took off her floaties in a pool, when she was surrounded by other children and adults.
By the time those around her noticed she had fallen under water, it was too late.
In this devastating story, which also left another three-year-old in critical condition (that child has since recovered), there were a total of 10 children in the pool with two adults supervising.
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According to news reports, witnesses told the sheriff’s office that by the time the adults noticed what had happened, the young girls were under the water. Several adults rushed into the water and pulled the children out and performed CPR, until first responders arrived.
Although the younger child fortunately survived, the four-year-old was pronounced dead on arrival.
This is such a traumatic reminder that a group setting is one of the most dangerous times for children in a pool. With so many people around, we can get complacent and assume that someone else has an eye on the kids.
With the weather warming up on the Gold Coast we are already well and truly into pool season, and this is a heart-breaking but timely reminder to pay extra vigilant attention around pools.
I recall having a birthday party for my daughter a couple of years ago, and we invited almost her entire class (my first mistake). Approximately 20 kids turned up and I spent the entire party in a state of mild panic, watching the pool like a hawk “just in case”.
I was alarmed when one dad dropped his twins off.
“Can they swim?” I asked as he prepared to leave; I didn’t think parents would do the drop and run for a pool party.
“Are they confident swimmers?” I asked again. “Like CAN THEY SWIM WELL?!”
I practically shouted at him, but I couldn’t help it; the idea of being solely responsible for two more children, on top of my own three kids, while also dishing out sunscreen and retrieving plates of sandwiches and ice-blocks was extremely daunting.
The party went off without a hitch and all kids were safe and accounted for – but this tragic story in Florida is one of my greatest fears.
Please be careful in the pool this spring and summer. Even confident swimmers can run into trouble in a busy pool, so don’t turn your back even for 10 seconds when kids are in the pool – it can make all the difference between a happy day in the pool and a tragic outcome.