Small child drowns in Kirkland
Published Wednesday, July 4, 2012 11:16AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, July 4, 2012 5:48PM EDT
A 16-month-old girl drowned in her family pool near Labrador and Nelligan in Kirkland on Wednesday morning.The girl’s mother said she last saw her daughter sitting in front of the TV, and turned her back for a moment. When she looked back, the girl was no longer there, and the patio door was open.
The woman checked the pool, where she discovered her baby girl at the bottom.
Witness Keith Amy, a splicer for Expertech, happened to be working on a nearby telephone pole when heard a horrifying scream and saw the unforgettable scene.
“I saw the lady rush out the back door, the screen fell through, and she grabbed the girl out of the pool,” he said, choking back his emotions. “I couldn’t see the pool,,, I didn’t know what it was until I saw her screaming.”
First responders tried in vain to revive the girl. Further attempts to resuscitate her at a hospital also failed and her death was soon confirmed.
The family had recently moved to the neighbourhood, and the little girl was their only child.
Neighbour Brian Getty said the child had an affinity for his pet Labrador retriever.
“I met the little girl because she was interested in the dog,” said Getty. “I met them about a month ago. She was a cute little girl. Her mother was very, very attentive. She watched over her very, very well.”
Training in lifeguarding courses Bronze Medallion and Bronze Cross, Amy said he knows how quickly a tragedy like this can occur.
“Terrifying,” he said, explaining how he rushed to the home to try to help the woman, but was unable to reach them in time. “I’ve been around pools all my life – with kids, it takes ten seconds.”
That’s why in some municipalities, like Kirkland, regulations require residential pools to be surrounded by a fence at least 1.9 metres high and about a metre away from the pool.
It is not yet confirmed whether or not the pool was equipped with a fence that meets regulations.
All pool owners owners need to control access to their pools and ensure they're up to standard, said Raynald Hawkins, executive director of the Lifesaving Society.
“We have also developed a backyard pool patrol from the Lifesaving Society. You can ask them to go at your backyard and see if you meet all those criteria all those safety standards,” he said.
Amy added that caution is key when dealing with children and backyard pools.
“If they have children in the backyard, especially with a dug-in pool, no kids in the backyard without a life jacket,” he said.
It was the 40th drowning in Quebec thus far in 2012, about 16 more than last year at this time.