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Pool Alarm May Have Saved 2-Year-Old

July 17, 2000

Carson Dean “Scooby” Phillips

Age 2


On July 10, 2000 Robert Phillips (father) put the ladder on his families above ground pool so that he could add chemicals to the water. Following the chemical instructions he planned to wait a short time after adding the chemicals and then vacuum the pool.  “ I need to take the ladder down,” he thought to himself. “ No, I’ll go out into the garden (60 ft. away) and pick some beans until it is time to vacuum the pool.”

Knowing Robert is outside, Gloria Phillips (mother) lets 2-year-old Carson go out to help his dad pick beans. Gloria never realized that Robert had started on the pool and that the ladder was still attached.

In about ten minutes, Gloria went out to help and noticed that Carson wasn’t with his dad.  When she asked Robert where Carson was, he said that he never knew he was outside.

Noticing that the gate on their back yard fence was open, they immediately assumed he had gone out. They looked in the front yard, checked with all of the neighbors, NOTHING.

Robert went back to check around the house again. He remembered looking at the pool when he had walked by it earlier and didn’t see anything but when he looked the second time, there was 2 year old Carson floating, face down in the water. He had been there the whole time, but because Robert had a hearing problem, he never heard him come outside or the splash of Carson falling in the pool. He didn’t see him the first time because of the chemicals had produced a film on top of the water and looking back; Carson was probably on the bottom of the pool during that time.

Robert pulled Carson out of the pool, screamed for help and began CPR.  Family and friends tried to call 911 but earlier in the day a construction company, building a new subdivision a few miles away, had cut the phone lines and the phones had been out for hours and something had also happened to the Bellsouth cellular tower in that area, so there was no cellular service through Bellsouth.

Paramedics were finally contacted and Carson was rushed to the hospital. The doctors and nurses worked on Carson for about 45 minutes but he had been under too long.

Carson Phillips, 2 years old, died on the afternoon of July 10, 2000 and we buried him Thursday, July 13, 2000.  This was a tremendous loss for us. I never knew a child so full of life and happiness.

We are writing this letter to you today, asking for help. The pool that Carson drowned in has been taken down and, with help from God, has been sold. Carson’s parents are using this money to start a program that will provide pool alarms to families with pools and small children. We are requesting other donations to support this program.

You can reach us at 8000 County Road 221, Trinity, AL 35673.  Phone: 256/974-4679 or 265/974-5420.

We feel that if a pool alarm had been in the water on this day, Carson would still be with us.

Reproduced with permission from:
The Philips Family
Written By: Brian K. Griffin
©Copyright 2000 Children's Safety Zone

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