Illinois residents are mourning the deaths of four children who tragically lost their lives in three separate drowning incidents, all over the course of a single weekend. According to a report by the Chicago Tribune, a 3-year-old boy drown in the pool of a family member. Additionally, a 4-year-old child lost his life in a country club pool and two brothers, ages 8 and 9, drowned inside of an excavated pit filled with water. These overwhelming tragedies are placing a spotlight on the importance of pool safety, especially among vulnerable children.
According to the Chicago Tribune article, the 3-year-old victim was attending a family function at the time of the drowning. Though he was initially wearing arm flotations in the pool, he removed them while eating. They were reportedly never put back on him before he returned to the pool. His father, who was nearby talking to other adults, reported that he was “all of a sudden” out of sight. The child was pronounced dead at a nearby emergency room.
Details in the death of the 4-year-old are still unclear, according to reports. Emergency response vehicles were reportedly called to an area country club, where the child was found. In a vastly different setting, the 8 and 9-year old brothers were reportedly playing with friends in their neighborhood, when they entered an excavated pit that was filled with water. Neither of the boys were able to swim and struggled in the water, while their friends left to get help. The articles states that the siblings were pronounced dead within 15 minutes of one another.
Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) list drowning as the “second-leading cause of unintentional injury related deaths” among children 1 – 14. According to the organization, these disturbing numbers are due to a variety of factors:
Inability to swim – Reports show that swimming instruction dramatically decreases the risk of drowning among children.
Failure to adequately secure access to the pool when unattended – Pool owners should provide barriers and safety measures to prevent children from entering their pools while they are unattended.
Failure to adequately supervise children in the pool – It only takes a moment of inattentiveness for a child to drown in even the smallest amount of water.
The agency offers the following advice for swimming pool owners in an effort to prevent further injuries and deaths:
-Closely supervise children in the pool. The CDC recommends “touch supervision”, where the adult is always close enough to reach a child in cases of emergency.
-Learn CPR to better prepare for situations that may occur.
-Teach children to swim.
-Understand that air-filled toys and water noodles are not safety devices. According to the CDC, life jackets are the only devices specifically designed to prevent drowning.
-Maintain fencing around the entire perimeter of your pool, complete with locks and alarms to keep children from entering your pool unsupervised.
The attorneys of Levin & Perconti fight for children of every age, to keep them safe from all hurt and harm. If your family has been affected by a swimming pool related injury or death, call (877) 374-1417 for a free consultation.
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