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2-year-old becomes 1st drowning of '03

Jan. 21, 2003

Target Zero
• Read a special report on pool safety by azcentral.com, 12 News and The Arizona Republic.
A 2-year-old boy is the first child to drown in the Valley this year.

Thomas Allen slipped through a laundry room door and fell into the backyard pool at his home near 40th and Peoria avenues about 5 p.m. Monday, Assistant Phoenix Fire Chief Bob Khan said.

The house had a pool fence, but the pool could be reached through the laundry room, which was modified to be accessible from the main part of the house, Khan said.

Thomas may have been underwater for 10 minutes. His parents were at the scene, Khan said.

Neighbor and nurse Judy Mull said she heard screams for help and raced to the pool area to find the boy lying by the side of the pool.

She performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation but said he had no pulse.

Firefighters brought Thomas to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

"This is the absolute last thing we wanted to see in January," Khan said.

In 2001, child drownings in swimming pools dropped off 75 percent after Labor Day, but last year, post-Labor Day drownings kept pace with summer numbers.

"We had such good community effort through the summer," Khan said.

"Kids are just as curious in the winter about water as in the summer."

Twenty children drowned in Maricopa County last year, 12 of them in Phoenix, and 15 drowned in Phoenix in 2001.

Reach the reporter at sarah. anchors@arizonarepublic.com or at (602) 444-8014.

Reproduced with permission from:
The Arizona Republic
By Sarah Anchors
©Copyright 2002 Arizona Republic

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