Delaware toddler drowns in family pool

A 4-year-old boy drowned in Claymont Wednesday night. It was one of two pool-related incidents reported on the Fourth of July holiday.



A 4-year-old boy drowned in his family pool in Delaware Wednesday, while a teen remains in critical condition after nearly drowning.

Police were initially called to the unit block of Franklin Avenue in Claymont around 7:30 p.m. for reports of a missing 4-year-old.

“When the officers got there, they got the information from the family members, and they started to search, and immediately the child was located in the family swimming pool by the patrol officers,” said Master Cpl. Michel Eckerd of the New Castle County Police Department. They initiated CPR, but the child died.

It was the second pool-related incident the county force responded to Wednesday. A few hours earlier, officers were called to an apartment complex pool in New Castle where a 15-year-old boy nearly drowned.

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A lifeguard rescued the teen from the water and performed CPR. The boy remains in critical condition.

“Keep it in the back of your head that this pool could be a blue monster back there, for a lack of better terminology, that you always constantly have to be vigilant over,” Eckerd warned.

Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children between 1 and 4 years old, and it’s the fifth leading cause of accidental injury death in the United States.

Approximately 10 unintended drowning deaths occur each day, and two out of every 10 unintentional drownings involve children younger than 14, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Eckerd said the No. 1 preventive measure is to designate a “water watcher,” or someone who can constantly monitor children in the pool during family gatherings or parties. There is no substitute for adult supervision, he said.

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