PEMBROKE PINES (CBSMiami) – At a 4th of July party at this Pembroke Pines home, a scene of celebration turned to unspeakable tragedy. Police say that’s when a young boy – 2 years old – drowned in the backyard pool. The boy was visiting the home with his family when he died.
“There were other adults who were present at the party and some adults lost track of the child,” said Pembroke Pines Police Sgt. Adam Feiner.
Pembroke Pines police say the boy was found in about 6 feet of water. Neither CPR nor life saving measures could save him.
It’s a story we hear over and over again. Last Friday, a 2-year-old boy died at a Lauderhill home after being discovered in the backyard pool. On Saturday in North Miami, a baby nearly drowned after being found in a pool. It’s a stark reminder that drowning is the leading cause of death for children under 4 years of age in Broward County and the U.S.
“One of the hardest things to accept is calls of this nature are 100 percent preventable and 100 percent avoidable,” Feiner said.
Sgt. Feiner has spent decades on the force and handled his share of these emergencies. He says the most important thing parents and caretakers can do when young kids are swimming is keep their eyes on the water.
“It’s every adults responsibility to water watch and practice water safety around pools and other bodies of water,” Feiner said.
Other advice – enroll your children in swim lessons at an early age and if your kids don’t know how to swim – get them a life vest.
A child can drown in seconds and if a parent or caregiver is distracted it can mean the difference between life and death – a sad reality that several South Florida families have learned in the past few days.
“These calls are gut-wrenching,” Feiner said. “They are heartbreaking. And like I mentioned earlier, they are 100 percent avoidable. They are the type of service calls that we wish we didn’t have to respond to.”
If you have young kids and a pool at your home, experts suggest putting a fence around the pool or any body of water with latches and locks the children cannot open.
You should also consider alarms on doors that open to the pool area. Finally, make sure you know CPR if an emergency arises.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office has made drowning prevention a top priority. Here is a link to their tips and statistics on the topic.