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1111720_pool_with_ball.jpgA 2-year-old girl was found unresponsive in her grandparents’ pool in Homosassa Sept. 2 around 5:30 p.m.

Family members claim the little girl had been watching TV the last time anyone saw her.

The child’s parents were traveling from Ocala to Citrus County to pick the child up when the drowning occurred.

Other family members apparently pulled the child from the pool and attempted CPR.

The Nature Coast EMS took the child to Seven Rivers Regional Medical Center in Crystal River.

The medical examiner’s office took the young girl to Leesburg for an autopsy.
Citrus County Sheriff’s Office detectives claim nothing suspicious was uncovered and that the child’s death appears to be an accidental drowning.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning accidents are the leading cause of injury death for children between the ages of 1 and 4. For those in this age group, swimming pools present the greatest danger of submersion injury. While drowning deaths are most frequent among young children, drowning fatalities can occur across all age groups. In fact, drowning is the fifth leading cause of accidental deaths for people of all ages.

The CDC found that for every child under the age of 15 that drowns in a swimming pool, another 10 are admitted to emergency rooms for treatment of nonfatal submersion injuries. Unfortunately, incidents of nonfatal drowning often result in brain damage that could lead to long-term disabilities such as memory loss, learning disabilities and the loss of basic human functions.

The general year-round warm weather in Homosassa and throughout Citrus County keeps many family swimming pools in constant use. Most children love swimming and cannot wait to jump into the water. While it’s easy to forget about the risks associated with your own swimming pool, letting your guard down for even a second when a child is swimming can result in tragedy. Drowning fatalities are entirely avoidable. Exercising certain safety precautions can reduce risks to your children and any guests you may have at your swimming pool. The following tips can keep you and your loved ones safe:

• Supervise children and guests at your pool at all times. While your child may have had numerous swimming lessons, this does not guarantee your child’s safety.

• Keep your phone on or near you. Why? For one, you will not have to leave your child or guests to answer a call. Second, you can quickly call for help in the event of an emergency.

• Educate anyone you leave your child with about the dangers of swimming pools and why it is necessary to constantly keep a close watch. This includes talking to babysitters, day care employees, aunts, uncles, grandparents and neighbors.

• Don’t allow yourself to get distracted. Keeping your eyes and ears open can save lives.

• Make sure that any windows or doors that provide access to the pool are properly locked when you are not around. You’d be surprised how quickly even the smallest of children can gain access to the pool area when no one is looking.

• Make sure your pool is fenced in and has a self-latching gate. This prevents children from gaining unauthorized access into the pool even if they somehow get into the surrounding area.

• Educate yourself by taking a swimming pool safety course and/or learning CPR.

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