Near drowning in Tucson latest case of improper pool barrier - Tucson News Now

Near drowning in Tucson latest case of improper pool barrier

(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A third of water emergencies in Pima County so far this involve pool barriers in Tucson that didn't work properly.

A near drowning Sunday at a home in central Tucson was the third time in 2017 that firefighters helped a small child who wound up in a pool because a gate, fence, or wall was broken or left open.

The 18-month-old boy is expected to make a full recovery, according to Sgt. Kimberly Bay with Tucson Police Department.

She said the case is currently under investigation. Situations like this, while tragic, could lead to criminal charges. Bay said each case is unique and treated as such.

Barriers are part of the ABC's of drowning prevention.

Adult supervision begins the acronym. Tucson Fire Department Captain Andy Skaggs said barriers should be the peace of mind for the times no one is supposed to be at the pool.

"It's those times where we don't think they'll be in the pool...is the time when that adult supervision isn't there," he said. "If the gate is open or it's damaged and (children) can find their way in, they will find their way in."

Skaggs said the gate to a pool area needs to be self-latching. Without that, he said anyone could wander into the water. The door should not be propped open with rocks or other objects.

"If it's convenient for you, it's convenient for them," said Skaggs.

Three of the nine cases of drownings or near drownings in Pima County involved an issue with the barrier to a pool.

First responders also handled a drowning in Tucson on Sunday. Skaggs said the man did not survive.

The final element to the ABC's of drowning prevention is CPR training. Skaggs said 911 dispatchers coached the toddler's family through CPR before firefighters showed up to the scene on Sunday.

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