NOYAN, QUE -- A three-year-old girl has died after drowning in a residential pool in Noyan, south of Montreal, on Saturday.

Quebec provincial police say they were alerted just before 11 a.m. after the young girl was found unconscious in an above-ground pool.

She was quickly transported to a hospital, where she died later in the day.

Sgt. Claude Denis says there were attempts to revive the girl during transport to the hospital.

Police didn't have any details about the circumstances surrounding the death, but an investigator was assigned to the case and has determined that the tragedy was an accident.

Denis says it serves as a sad reminder for people to take precautions around water and be extremely vigilant, because a fraction of a second could mean a drowning.

As of Thursday, Quebec's Lifesaving Society reported 35 drownings since the beginning of the year, compared to 27 at the same time last year.

Quebec Lifesaving Society Executive Director Rayland Hawkins did not mince words when saying how dangerous pools can be for infants and toddlers.

“With toddlers, a drowning situation is a silent killer,” he said. “You cannot have other tasks than supervise them all the time.”

Understanding pool safety is even more important this year as the COVID-19 pandemic has made backyard pools a hot item and their sales are up 60 per cent in some parts of Quebec.

Last week, the town of Noyan posted a Quebec government safety guide on its website stressing the importance of installing fences with automatic locking gates and keeping filters at a safe distance.

Hawkings says, however, that safety equipment is just part of the solution.

“I make the link between the backyard pool and the play on the streets,” he said. “When your toddlers can walk, I’m very sure all the parents will say to their kids you cannot cross the street without yoru mom and ad, and this is the same reality when we have a backyard pool.”

With reporting from The Canadian Press.