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Toddler drowns in pool in Modesto neighborhood Wednesday night

Simple steps to be safe around pools and prevent accidents this summer

Be safe. Here are some of the simple steps that save lives around pools.
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Be safe. Here are some of the simple steps that save lives around pools.

A toddler drowned in a pool in a neighborhood near Briggsmore Avenue and Claus Road on Wednesday night, public safety officials report.

About 8:40 p.m., police, fire and medical personnel responded to an east Modesto home on a report of a possible drowning.

Crews arrived to find one victim, who was quickly assessed and transported to a hospital, Modesto Fire Department Battalion Chief Andrew Hunter said Thursday morning. There, the child was pronounced dead.

Modesto Police Department spokeswoman Sharon Bear said the victim was a 15-month old girl. The child apparently got out of the home unnoticed.

There is a proper fence around the pool, Bear said, but it was unclear Thursday morning whether the gate was closed and latched. There also is nothing suspicious about the toddler’s death, she said. “It appears at this point in time that it was just a tragic accident.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family.

The following pool safety advice is from the National Drowning Prevention Alliance:

  • Never leave a child unattended near water in a pool, tub, bucket or ocean. There is no substitute for adult supervision.
  • Designate a “water watcher” to maintain constant watch over children in the pool during gatherings.
  • The home should be isolated from the pool with a fence at least 60 inches tall, with a self-closing, self-latching gate. The gate should open away from the pool, and should never be propped open.
  • Doors and windows should be alarmed to alert adults when opened. Doors should be self-closing and self-latching.
  • Power-operated pool safety covers are the most convenient and efficient. Solar/floating pool covers are not safety devices.
  • Keep a phone at poolside so you never have to leave the pool to answer the phone, and can call for help if needed.
  • Learn CPR and rescue breathing. Keep a lifesaving ring, shepherd’s hook and CPR instructions mounted at poolside.
  • Do not use flotation devices as a substitute for supervision.
  • If a child is missing, always check the pool first. Seconds count.
  • Remove toys from in and around the pool when not in use. Don’t use floating chlorine dispensers that look like toys.
  • Instruct baby sitters about potential pool hazards, and emphasize the need for constant supervision.
  • Responsibilities of pool ownership include ensuring children in the home learn to swim, and that adults know CPR. But do not consider children “drownproof” because they’ve had swimming lessons.
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