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Twin Toddlers Drown in Swimming Pool Accident

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Two-year-old twins Angelina and Veronica Andreottola drowned at their Massachusetts home over the weekend. Police say they may have fallen into the family pool after they pushed a button to open a retractable pool cover.

Twin Toddlers Drown in Swimming Pool Accident

Police believe the twins snuck out of the house without the knowledge of their mother, Crystal, then managed to flick a switch which pulled back the pool cover before they fell into the water. The pool was partially covered by the electric-powered retractable cover when the girls were discovered, but police intend to look at surveillance footage to find out exactly how it ended up that way.

The twins' father was not home at the time of the accident. The couple also has a 9-month-old son.

"They had a pool cover; there were gates," said Police Chief Joseph Dunn."I think every effort was made to safeguard those children. It's a tragic, tragic accident."

Our heart breaks for this family -- especially for the mother, whose grief and guilt must be immeasurable. This is a painful reminder that we can't take our eyes off our little ones even for a second.

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59 comments so far | Post a comment now
Gwyn July 19, 2010, 3:02 PM

I cannot imagine the anguish this family must be going through and will likely continue to feel for a lifetime. Truly we should worry less about carseats and gun safes and more about residential pools to keep our children safe.

Beverly Payton M.A., APR July 20, 2010, 9:15 AM

As a member of the Board of Directors of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance I can add that our hearts break for these parents too. I know, first hand, the angusih they are going through because my 3-year-old daughter drowned in a neighbors unsecured pool in 1988. Since then I have been working to prevent this tragedy from happening to other parents by educating the public and advocating for strict swimming pool barrier legislation.
The NDPA and other child safety advocates recommend having multiple layers of protection in place to prevent children’s unsupervised access to pools and spas. The first layer should be an isolation fence with a self-closing, self latching gate that isolates the pool from the house and from the surrounding yard area. Many homeowners use the house as the fourth side of the barrier, which doesn’t provide any protection for the child living in or visiting the house.
This article says that the children may have pressed a button that retracted the automatic pool cover. These types of controls should be under a lock box or accessed by a combination code.
Some facts about drowning that most pool owners don’t realize are:
* Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death to children under age 5.
* Nearly half of child drowning victims were LAST SEEN IN THE HOUSE.
* Most drowning victims were missing for 5 minutes or less before being discovered in the pool and were being suprevised by one or both parents (who were momentarilly distracted by routine household activities.)
* Drowning is swift and silent. There is no splashing sound or cries for help.
* While it is impossible to be hypervigilant and keep our eyes on toddlers every second of the day, drowning is preventable. The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission recently launched a national drowning prevention campaign at The theme is Simple Steps Save Lives. Please share this information with other parents and pool owners and remember to Pool Safely.

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Lindsay @ Just My Blog August 24, 2010, 6:28 AM

What an unbelievable tragedy. Those poor babies and I cannot imagine what the parents are going through.

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SicilianMama December 3, 2010, 1:32 PM

This was truly heartbreaking to read! As a mother myself, my heart goes out to this family, and mostly the mother. I can not imagine the pain and guilt they will most likely carry for the rest of there lives. I have heard so many stories of this happening to children in mass which is the state I live in. Its scary to hear how often this has happened, even with all the security measures they took to protect there children…its just heartbreaking, and I’m sorry for there loss. My prayers are with this family a my heart goes out to them!

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