In Lynnfield, Massachusetts, just a few minutes outside Boston, a family is mourning the loss of their twin 2-year-old girls who drowned in their family's swimming pool.
The girls' mother was home at the time, and it's believed that the twins, who were identical, pushed a button that removed the retractable pool cover.
“They’re loving parents, they’re very distraught,” Lynnfield Police Chief Joseph Dunn told Boston radio station WCVB. “They have a pool cover, there are gates. I think every effort was made to safeguard those children.”
It is a nightmare so unimaginable, but all too frequently the stark reality for families as we see the headlines of children drowning every week.
According to the CDC, in 2007, about 10 people drowned each day in the United States. It's the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children under 14.
The twins' names were Angelina and Veronica Andreottola. If you don't remember their names, please remember their story. While there are many other tragic tales, the thought of a family finding two children floating in the water is so horrifying it might spur parents to take those extra precautions, to make sure they know where the children are at all times.
It certainly will for me.
I have a pool in my backyard, and I have a toddler who has no fear of the water. She'd dive right in if no one was around. I love having it, but it terrifies me, as it should.
We're planning to get a pool fence, but somehow the call to get the process started hasn't been made. This story will make me pick up the phone today.
But as in this tragic tale, the mother thought she had taken the right precautions. I've looked into retractable pool covers because they're seemingly the safest option.
But when it comes to pools, it seems there's nothing that's 100 percent safe when a child is left unattended, even for a second. Actually, when it comes to toddlers, most anything can be potentially dangerous if they're left unattended.
The family also has a 9-month-old son.
Here are some water safety tips that provide good reminders on top of this very tragic one:
- 11 Tips for Drowning Prevention and Water Safety
- Pool Safety Made Easy
- Preventing Toddler Bathtub Injuries
- Always Drain the Kiddie Pool
- Water Safety: 4 Expert Tips for Parents of Toddlers
Have you ever had a drowning scare with your child? What precautions do you take?
Image via boston.com