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Two Sisters Drown in Family Pool

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One family's tragedy made us stop and take action.

One day after moving into a house with a pool, two sisters (ages 1 and 2) have drowned. Getting a pool fence was on the family's to-do list ... but now it's too late.

The girls drowned at 8:30 AM on Saturday morning. 2-year-old Veronica Arias Ysabel, and her 18-month-old sister, Gloria, had gone back to bed after having a bottle. Their dad was on the computer and their mom was sleeping when the girls snuck out to the backyard and fell into the pool. Their dad found them at the bottom of the pool and called 911.

This story just makes us sick to our stomachs. Unfortunately, it's not an isolated incident. Three hundred kids under the age of 5 drown each year in swimming pools in the U.S. alone. Most young children who drown in pools wander out of the house and fall into the pool.

If you have a pool, it's imperative to install a fence -- such as the Baby Guard mesh pool fence -- that's at least four feet high around all four sides of the pool. This fence should completely separate the pool from the house and play area of the yard.

As an added precaution, use a pool alarm like the Safety Turtle Pool Alarm ($249). A power safety cover that meets the standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), such as this mesh safety cover from AmeriMerc, may add to the protection of your children, but should not be used in place of the fence between your house and the pool. Never use a pool with its pool cover partially in place, as children may become entrapped under it. Remove the cover completely.

Read momlogic's pool safety resource guide for more pool safety tips.

Our hearts go out to Veronica and Gloria's family in this tragic time.

next: Toddler Depression: Real or a Phase?
13 comments so far | Post a comment now
chris August 4, 2009, 8:37 AM

This is so tragic…My thoughts and prayers go out to this family.

Natalie August 4, 2009, 8:56 AM

I feel so bad for those little girls, but I can’t feel bad for the parents. It was their irresponsibility that led to the death of their little girls. They should have bought a pool fence before moving in, and had it installed the day they moved in.

mom of 2 August 4, 2009, 10:29 AM

Natalie….I feel sorry for you. The fact that u can think that way is simply horrible.

squeaky082 August 4, 2009, 11:22 AM

I agree w/ Natalie.

Camille August 4, 2009, 11:26 AM

My heart is so heavy for these parents right now. NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO FAULT ANYONE. I can’t imagine the pain and sorrow they’re feeling. I just hope these little babies didn’t suffer. I’m at a loss for words.

Beth August 4, 2009, 11:28 AM

I’ve lived in Florida the majority of my life. I’m not accustomed to the notion that a pool fence is a necessity as there are, historically, few people who fence their pools around here. We uses cages, but those are usually connected to the house. It strikes me that an alarm on the doors that sounded when a door was opened would have been a reasonable preventative as well.

We don’t currently have a pool, but we do have alarmed doors and windows. If a door opens the alarm beeps, not the scary someone’s breaking in beep, just a few quick, lower key beeps to let you know a door or window is open.

I am hard pressed to blame anyone in this instance. It’s a tragedy, but one that can happen very quickly. In my lifetime, I’ve helped prevent two children from drowning. Both times, the pool had a life guard, and still the children very nearly drowned. There is no such thing as a completely safe pool or ocean experience.

DF August 4, 2009, 11:46 AM

I have a pool - I have an alarm AND a fence. I am sure the father and mother feel guilt that I never hope to imagine for coulda,woulda, shoulda.. too late for that now.

Wendi August 4, 2009, 12:00 PM

My heart goes out to these babies. I live in Tucson and we hear about this stuff far to often. We have lots of homes here with pools beacause it gets so hot, and I do believe that they are required to have it gated off. However sometimes the gates dont close right or parents are just not watching their kids and they end up in the pool. Each and every time I hear this, it just makes me so sad.

Gigohead  August 4, 2009, 1:40 PM

Wow. I’m shocked that children so small would even be able to sneak out of the house like that. I feel for the family but they needed to safeguard that pool first and foremost before moving in. Those babies are curious and of course led to tragedy.

calimommy August 4, 2009, 11:33 PM

It is not about fault.It is about responsibility. This was preventable..and that’s what’s tragic!

Anonymous August 5, 2009, 10:11 PM

USELESS parents!!!

ame i. August 6, 2009, 10:53 AM

My late-husband’s brother installed a fence around their new pool before filling the pool.

HALDIS August 11, 2009, 10:39 PM


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