Parents are best protection against drownings
At left, Chrishnay Hicks, 6, splashes with instructor Kristen Campbell during swimming lessons at North Shore pool in St. Petersburg while Madison Hamilton, 4, clings to instructor A.J. Augustine as he helps Grant Jordan, 4, float. [Times photo -- Edmund D. Fountain]
From Thursday's Times, comes a story all parents need to read. Children are drowning and more often than not, it's in the backyard pool. Here's the start of the story by Times reporters Stephanie Hayes and Andy Boyle:
The stories are chilling, and so often the same.
The child, tiny and teeming with curiosity, escapes his parents’ sight for just a flash.
He wanders outside.
He finds the pool.
This year in Tampa Bay — a place bordered by ocean and paved with pools — it keeps happening.
May 25: Brayden Lague, 18 months, left his parents for a couple of minutes at home in Tarpon Springs. His father found him floating in the pool.
May 26: Mariah Kras, 2, got out of her family’s mobile home in Spring Hill and climbed a deck to the above-ground pool while her mother slept.
June 11: Matthew Mannix III, 1, drowned in a Dunedin pool after he left his crib and opened a bathroom door leading outside.
June 16: Kevin Walker, 18 months, drowned in Odessa after wandering out of his mother’s view and falling into a partially emptied pool.
This month, two more boys nearly drowned, one at Fort De Soto Park and another at a St. Petersburg pool party.
The number creeps up every year.
Summer has just begun.
In addition, we compiled the best pool safety advice, from fencing and gates, to alarms, swimming lessons and your role as a parent in protecting your children.
Share your stories, tips and concerns with a comment on this post. Talking about it is a good start.
-- Amy Hollyfield