3-year-old boy nearly drowns in family friend’s pool

The weekend almost ended in tragedy for a Holiday family. Tryston Sierra, 3, was playing in a Palm Harbor pool with his siblings around 7:30 p.m. Sunday. According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s office, Sierra, who did not know how to swim, was in a child’s flotation device when it flipped over. Another child called to the parents for help.

Deputies said the child’s mother, Desiree Sierra of Holiday, was visiting friends along with her five children, who range in age from less than a year to 12. The children were swimming as the adults watched.

Palm Harbor Fire Rescue responded to the 911 call and paramedics were able to restore the boy’s pulse. He was flown to All Children’s Hospital in critical condition.

Swim season requires extra vigilance to keep kids safe. Parents must stay alert and avoid distractions when their children are swimming or playing near a pool.

Florida leads the nation in drowning deaths for children younger than 5, with an average of 74 dying each year in the last decade, according to the Florida Suncoast Safe Kids Coalition (part of Safe Kids Worldwide).  Follow these important safety tips to help prevent a tragedy during swim season:

  • ALWAYS supervise young children around swimming pools, lakes, rivers and the beach. Have a designated adult “water watcher”.
  • Enroll children in swim classes that teach how to tread water, float and stay by the shore.
  • Put childproof locks on exterior doors and put an alarm on any door leading to a pool area.
  • Install fencing in the backyard and around the pool. The pool fence should have self-closing, self-latching gates. Keep furniture away from the fence so children can’t climb over it into the pool area.
  • Keep toys and floating objects out of the pool and clear away clutter from pool edges.
  • Use a pool cover when the pool isn’t being used.
  • Wear life jackets in and around natural bodies of water.
  • Explain the differences between open water and pools; watch out for uneven surfaces, currents, ocean undertow and changing weather.

Make safety your top concern. Be extra careful in and around the water, and be alert for those who are not. Don’t let an accident spoil your summer.

If you or a loved has been injured due to the negligence of others, you should speak with an attorney. The personal injury attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes have been caring for clients in theTampa Bay area for over 55 years. Contact us today!

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