Sheriff’s officials are investigating a swimming pool accident in Riverside County, which claimed the life of 2-year-old Kimberly Gonzalez. According to a news report in the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Kimberly was found the evening of July 26, 2014 floating in her family’s backyard pool in the 10000 block of Honey Circle. She was transported to Kaiser Permanente in Ontario where she was pronounced dead. Deputies administered CPR until rescue personnel arrived, but the child could not be saved. Officials are looking into what caused this tragic drowning incident.
Our deepest condolences go out to the family members of Kimberly Gonzalez for their heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Swimming Pool Accident Statistics
According to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children ages 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rates. In 2009, among children 1 to 4 years old who died from an unintentional injury, more than 30 percent died from drowning. Among children ages 1 to 4 most drowning deaths occur in home swimming pools. Drowning is responsible for more deaths among children 1 to 4 than any other cause except congenital anomalies or birth defects. Between the years 2005 and 2009, there were about 3,533 unintentional drowning accidents annually in the United States, which amounts to 10 deaths a day.
Preventing Child Drowning and Near-Drowning
Young children, those under the age of 5, are particularly vulnerable to swimming pool accidents. There are a number of steps parents, caregivers and homeowners can take to prevent these tragedies:
• Surround your pool with a fence that is at least 4 feet tall. Make sure slatted fences have no gaps wider than 4 inches so younger kids cannot squeeze through. Install self-closing, self-latching gates where the latches are beyond the child’s reach.
• Protect any doors leading to the pool area with an alarm. Add an underwater pool alarm that sounds when something hits the water and make sure you can hear these alarms inside your house.
• Block pool and hot tub access. Use a rigid, motorized safety cover to block access to the pool when it’s not in use. Cover hot tubs as well.
• Don’t leave pool toys in the water. A child might fall into the water when he or she is trying to retrieve a toy.
• There is no substitute for supervision. Never leave children unsupervised near a pool or hot tub. During parties or gatherings, parents or caregivers should stay at arm’s length from children.