2-year-old dies days after falling into family’s pool in Cape Coral

Reporter: Taylor Petras Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Credit: WINK News.

A family is mourning the loss of their 2-year-old after he fell into a swimming pool. Police say he was rushed to the hospital but died days later.

We learned Tuesday these tragedies might happen more often because more families installed home pools during the pandemic.

Instructors say supervision and lessons are especially important this summer, since child drowning statistics in Florida are not off to a good start in 2021.

There have been 37 drowning deaths in the state compared to 69 for the entirety of 2020, and most of those are in swimming pools.

People living in a northeast Cape Coral neighborhood watched a scary scene unfold outside their homes early in May.

“By that time the ambulance came, the police came,” neighbor Rachelle Harris said.

Police say the 2-year-old was found in the family’s pool after being told he couldn’t go swimming. The boy was rushed to the hospital and died four days later.

Kathy Cole, an infant swimming resource master instructor, says supervising children in the pool is most important to keep them safe.

“If you’re having a pool activity, you need to designate a water watcher,” Cole said. “Somebody that is going to be eyes on the child, eyes on the pool. No phones, no nothing.”

Cole says keep the pool barriers up, and get your child signed up for swim lessons. She’s teaching children as young as 6 months old to roll on their backs to float.

Cole also wants parents to beware of relying on floaties that keep children floating vertically. She says it’s not teaching them to roll on to their back to float.

“Floating is the difference between life or death out in the water,” Cole said. “It’s the one chance that they have to save [themselves] if they find the water alone.”

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