Summer's coming; watch the kids 03-25-2011

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A South Marion Citizen editorial

There were two stories coming out of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office in the last week about the same issue. One had a happy ending, the other, sadly, did not.

In the first, some deputies were in an apartment complex to serve a warrant when a man came running up to them holding a limp child. He said he had left the child for a moment to go to the rest room, and when he came back the child was in the water of the complex pool and wasn’t breathing.

The deputies were able to revive the child, who evidently hadn’t been in the water that long.

The second story was much more sad. A family called the Sheriff’s Office because they couldn’t find their little child. The family had two pools, one in ground and the other above ground. The in-ground pool was murky and evidently unused, and they looked but didn’t see the child.

Later the child was found in that murky pool, obviously drowned.

There are some lessons here that should be obvious, but that are ignored regularly by people.

In the first case, even if you’re going away from the pool for just a couple of minutes, take the little child with you. Never leave a child unattended near water like that. The result could be, and almost was, disastrous.

In the second case, in addition to keeping an eye on the children, make sure that all pools are properly maintained. If, in this case, the in-ground pool was not going to be used, it should have been drained and cleaned.

With spring just having started last weekend, and in Florida that means that summer is actually starting, regardless of what the calendar says, there will be a lot more families hanging around the pool.

Don’t let yourself become a news story, and don’t let your child or grandchild become a statistic. Make sure you go out of your way to keep an eye on the kids. Let’s not have any more tragedies.