A 6-year-old boy was taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center after nearly drowning in a hotel pool on Sunday afternoon, said Division Chief Keith Bryer, spokesman for Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue.
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Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
LOXAHATCHEE, Fla. - Homeowner Steven Grenier lives just a few feet from the home of where little Aiden Figueroa fell into his family's Loxahatchee swimming pool.
News of his death hit his family and neighbors hard. "It's tragic I can't imagine that happening two a child I have two of my own," says Grenier.
And he has a pool.
"We have a screened-in enclosure we keep locked to keep other kids out," he says.
Keeping other kids out is crucial but keeping your own children safe is a first priority says Drowning Prevention Coalition Manager Anna Stewart.
"The reality is it's unrealistic to be able to watch your children 24 hours a day 7 days a week," says Stewart.
Stewart says that's why having layers of protection is important. "It's ultimately up to the consumer to find out what is best for the family."
For Grenier's family that means locks too high for the little ones to reach and swimming lessons.
"When I bought this house 10 years ago my daughter was 5, so I immediately showed her how to get to the side if she fell in," says Grenier.
Between 1997-2010, there were 744 drowning deaths in Palm Beach County, and children ages 1-4 have the highest drowning rate based on population, according to ME reports received from the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner Office District 15.
"These children, the majority are happening in backyard swimming pools," says Stewart.
Stewart says technology has improved now where pools can come equipped with alarms just like your home. "There's alarms that attach to the side and are partially inserted to show when there is a disturbance," she says.
The tragedy in Loxahatchee can serve as a reminder that swimming pools are fun but dangerous.
Stewart says remembering the ABCs of drowning prevention, adult supervision, barriers and classes, is just as important as teaching your children their ABCs.
Children can start learning to swim as early as 6 months of age.
This story has been updated to reflect the correct statistics regarding drowning deaths in Palm Beach County
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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