A four-year-old boy drowned in a backyard swimming pool during a busy family gathering Sunday afternoon in Laval, according to police.
Officers were reportedly called to a home on Place des Capucines in the Sainte-Dorothée district at 3 p.m.
According to Laval police spokeswoman Stephanie Beshara, there were numerous people both inside and outside the home when the boy was found.
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According to police, the boy was unconscious when officers arrived.
Urgences-Santé paramedics transported the child to hospital in critical condition, where he later died.
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Raynald Hawkins, director general of the Quebec branch of the Royal Lifesaving Society of Canada, says the main issue surrounding pool safety is accessibility.
“If you have an in-ground pool, you need a side fence, and when you have an above-ground pool, it also needs one,” he said.
“You have to establish a fence between the house and the backyard pool.”
Hawkins points out that one way to prevent potential drownings is to always have a designated supervisor, similar to having a designated driver after a night out.
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“Ask an adult to be the supervisor for all the kids. Don’t expect the kid will be with the mother or father — you need to supervise the kid,” he said.
“When we want to cross the street, we always ask the kids to be in reach of the parents. It’s the same principle with the backyard pool.”
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He also encourages parents to teach their children to swim “as soon as possible.”
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Hawkins says this is the third drowning in a backyard pool this summer in Quebec.
There have been 30 drownings in 2019 so far, compared to 22 last year.