Hernando County girl, 2, drowns in family's swimming pool

SPRING LAKE —A 2-year-old girl drowned Tuesday morning after falling into her family's swimming pool in eastern Hernando County.

The Hernando County Sheriff's Office said that Carole Kras, 34, had gotten her children off to school around 8 a.m. and her daughter Mariah was inside the home at 1012 Cardwell St. watching television.

The report stated that Carole Kras fell asleep, and Mariah somehow got out of the double-wide mobile home's back door and climbed a deck to the above-ground pool.

When the mother awoke after 10 a.m., she went looking for Mariah and found her floating in the swimming pool, according to the report. She pulled the girl out, called for help and started CPR.

According to radio reports, a Pasco County rescue team arrived at the home and found the toddler had no pulse and was not breathing. She was airlifted to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, where she was pronounced dead.

Detectives have said this appears to be an accidental drowning, the report states, but an investigation is continuing pending an autopsy.

Tuesday's incident was eerily similar to a child drowning that occurred one year ago that claimed the life of 1-year-old Bisher Hiba, of Spring Hill.

The toddler, who was being supervised by three older siblings while their parents were in another part of the home, slipped through a plastic barrier around the pool while the older children were distracted.

Both incidents point to the need for parents to be more vigilant during the summer months when their children are more apt to be around swimming pools, said Hernando County Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Frank DeFrancesco. "Children are very mobile and very quick," DeFrancesco said. "Parents should know that even the slightest distraction can be an opportunity for trouble."

DeFrancesco says that the safety measures for pool owners include having audible alarms and multiple layers of barriers to ensure that getting to the pool isn't easy for a toddler.

"Making it harder to get to the pool is what you want," he said. "It could mean the difference between life and death."

Logan Neill can be reached at lneill@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1435.

Fast facts

Basic rules of pool safety

1. Constantly supervise children involved in water play.

2. Keep gates locked on pool perimeter when pool is not in use.

3. Place appropriate fencing and self-closing latches around a pool.

4. Don't allow children to play around pool area; keep toys away from the pool.

5. Keep chairs, ladders, tables and any other items that can be used to climb on away from pool fences.

6. Mount lifesaving floating devices near pool.

7. Post 911 stickers on phone.

8. Don't leave children unattended to answer the phone or the front door.

9. Have children leave the pool area if you have to leave the area for any reason.

10. Keep doors leading from the residence to the pool area secured at all times. (Locks should be placed out of reach of children.)

11. Learn CPR and first aid.

Hernando County girl, 2, drowns in family's swimming pool 05/26/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 26, 2009 7:28pm]

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