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Missouri 3-year-old drowns in Gilbert pool

April 3, 2009

A 3-year-old boy visiting from Missouri drowned Friday afternoon in a Gilbert swimming pool, hours before he was to head home from vacation, Banner Children's Hospital officials said.

Gilbert Fire Capt. Mike Connor said crews arrived at a home about 1:30 p.m. near W. Cooper and Ray roads, where the child drowned in a pool.

"The family was here from out of town and were staying with relatives," Connor said. "I'm told their vacation ended today and they were flying back home (this afternoon)."

Officials conducted CPR on the child and transported him in critical condition to Banner Children's Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

The pool does have a fence around it, but officials had yet to learn whether it was left open, if it was broken of if the boy climbed over it, Connor said.

The drowning comes as Banner, Gilbert and the cities of Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, Chandler, Apache Junction and Queen Creek prepare to participate in the Walk for Water Safety tomorrow.

Fire officials and volunteers will be handing out about 70,000 bags with water safety information and lifeguard whistles to parents to encourage them to supervise children around water. The event kicks off at 9 a.m. Saturday.

"This is one of those things where parental supervision is key," Connor said. "Anytime there is water around, you have to keep track of those kids. Even with a pool fence, it doesn't cancel the need for parental supervision."


Reproduced with permission from:
The Arizona Republic
Nathan Gonzalez
©Copyright 2009 Arizona Republic

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