Jacksonville Drowning of Two Young Sisters in Westside Pool

The father of two toddlers pulled them from the family Westside swimming pool Saturday morning, according to a story. Unfortunately it was too late for little two-year-old and her 18-month-old sister.

The family had just moved into the rented home the night before, so the pool area had not yet been secured at the house on Niska Trail near Collins Road. Apparently the two little girls woke up around 8:30 and got out of bed. That’s when officers believe the older girl opened the door to the backyard and went to the pool with her little sister following. The father found the girls at the bottom of the pool about a half hour later. One girl went to Baptist Medical Center and the other to Orange Park Regional Medical Center but neither could be revived.

Our prayers go out to this family who lost two little children. Our deepest sympathies go out to this family for their double tragedy.

Drowning accidents are the leading cause of injuries and wrongful deaths in Florida among children under 5, and are entirely preventable, although in this case, it is easy to understand how a family, their first day in a new home, would not have had time to childproof the house thoroughly.

In Florida in 2006, 72 children drowned in pools, up from 67 children from the year before. Duval County is one of the top counties for child drowning and most occur in a backyard pool or spa.

The Department of Health reports that like this case, most children had been out of the sight of a parent for only minutes. Even going to answer a phone can be a deadly mistake.

Recommendations are to designate a responsible adult to watch the young children whether they are in the bath or around water. No distractions – such as talking on the phone, reading, and running inside – nothing can distract you from this important responsibility. In a public place select a swimming site with a lifeguard.

Barriers and preventing children from gaining access to the pool with a fence and a locked door are the best practice. Remember that a child being submerged for a short time can result in irreversible brain injury and damage.

If, due to someone else’s negligence, your child has been injured or killed in someone’s pool, or in a public or community pool, you may have rights that you need to explore with the help of an experienced Jacksonville personal injury attorney from Farah and Farah. You may be able to seek compensation to help with a child’s medical or long term care. Contact our firm today for a free consultation.