News24

Boy, 4, drowns in swimming pool

2012-04-14 17:30

Johannesburg - A 4-year-old boy drowned in a swimming pool at his home in Horizon View, on the West Rand on Saturday, Johannesburg Emergency Services said.

The boy was playing with the nanny's 2-year-old child on his black plastic motorbike around the pool, spokesperson Synock Matoboko said.

He fell into the pool and the 2-year-old started screaming. His mother heard the screams and rushed outside to find her son in the water, said Matoboko.

The mother, who also could not swim, jumped into the water and started drowning.

A neighbour heard her screaming and jumped over the wall. He pulled the mother out of the water and then the son, said Matoboko.

The mother started CPR on the child while the neighbour called emergency services.

After an hour of trying to resuscitate the child emergency services declared him dead.

Matoboko urged parents to cover their swimming pools and to take their children to swimming lessons.

Comments
  • Matthew.and.Denise - 2012-04-14 17:44

    Can't believe people still don't cover their pools, or at least put a fence around them! Especially with kids around.

  • Piet - 2012-04-14 17:45

    a swimmingpool and the mother can't swim???Letting 2 children play next to a swimmingpool without supervision ... Absolutely stupid.....

      Elize - 2012-04-14 18:21

      Specially when you can't swim yourself!!

      katrina.hentze.ahrens - 2012-04-14 18:41

      Janine... it says the mother heard the screams and rushed outside to find HER son in the water... so it was NOT the nanny...

      Gestoffle - 2012-04-14 19:29

      @Janine - I was just thinking aloud....Instead of having something constructive to say, you would rather have a swipe at somebody who has something constructive to say; look inward not out. Constructive by PieterWolf, I mean let this be a valuable lesson to other parents. Anyway, sincere condolences to the family, irrective of the mistake. I don't know if i could ever handle the pain of losing my kids.

      Piet - 2012-04-15 09:28

      @ Janine I have a daughter inlaw with the same name. Is it you or are you just as stupid as she is??? Read the article a couple of times and mayby the light will come on.....

      Gestoffle - 2012-04-15 23:08

      @Janine - Can you actually read?? You read it again! "He fell into the pool and the 2-year-old started screaming. His mother heard the screams".... The frikkin nanny was not there!!!!!!!!!

  • Garth - 2012-04-14 17:45

    my condolences to the family!but seriously ho woften do stories such as this appear hw difficult is it to understand if you have a pool and you have a child the pool needs to be covered in some way!!!!!!

  • James - 2012-04-14 17:47

    To those above ^^^^^ Yep, hindsight is a wonderful thing.

      Matthew.and.Denise - 2012-04-14 17:51

      It's not hindsight, it's common sense....

      Livvi - 2012-04-14 18:26

      4 year old swimming pool!! As responsible parents it should have been forsight for them to have a fence or net, no matter the cost because your child's life is priceless. My condolences to the family and the domestic lady. Rest in peace little one.

      James - 2012-04-14 19:12

      You guys misunderstood my point. The mother's intention wasn't for her child to drown was it? Do you think she made the cognitive decision? Of course not. It was an accident. Avoidable, absolutely. But all accidents are, aren't they? I'm sure she feels crap enough, and going on about what she should have done is not going to bring her child back. I'm sure if she could turn back time she would. Have some sympathy for God's sake, and remember how judgmental you are, next time your oversight causes an accident.

  • Grace - 2012-04-14 17:49

    Another tragedy that could have been prevented. I'm glad its not me who has to live with that guilt.

  • Marion - 2012-04-14 17:50

    Oh my God, the parents must be devastated. May the little one RIP. This should reinforce for all pool owners that every swimming pool should have proper netting and fencing.

      Aaron - 2012-04-15 15:42

      No, not EVERY pool. I do not have children on the premises, so I fail to see why I should put a net on my pool.

  • LULu - 2012-04-14 17:54

    :-( ths is so sad

  • trevor.mashilo - 2012-04-14 18:01

    Dis is a sad story my condolences to da Family,bt even though to cover da swmming pool was costly bt there is nothing costly dan losing yo Child.

  • Mpho - 2012-04-14 18:01

    This is very sad , parents please cover the pools

  • Gieljam - 2012-04-14 18:04

    To say anything more than" What a sad loss" will be adding insult to injury .our sincere condolences gg

      Amanda - 2012-04-14 19:42

      i couldnt agree more. these ppl commenting on how stupid the parents are, are being very insensitive. yes, it happened and it could have been prevented but for God's sake - do not condemn them, they now have to live with this. very very sad :-(

  • johnwilliam.roberts - 2012-04-14 18:54

    how stupid can a parent be not to have have a pool covered or fenced ?? sorry that an inocent child has lost its life through pure stupidity if you can afford a pool you can afford the safety if you love your children and those of your friends !!! my condolenses !! +!!

  • Baebae - 2012-04-14 19:01

    this is very sad, parents think twice to prevent things like this.

  • Sello - 2012-04-14 19:06

    Is it still fine for swimming pools to lay bare in domestic environments? In the past five years I have heard of so many deaths of small kids in Gauteng alone. And I am yet to see a fenced pool somewhere. Would it take the swimming excitement away if the pools were surrounded with still fences, with a small locking gate to get through?

      Angela - 2012-04-14 19:15

      It used to be a municipal bylaw that all pools had to be fenced . I know it still is in KZN, not sure about Gauteng anymore. If it is they should start enforcing it.

  • Gemma-Leigh - 2012-04-14 19:59

    I don't think its fair to judge the mother. She risked her life to try and save her son, that's not the action of a mother who intended for her son to drown!! It's unfortunately a very sad, preventable, accident. My heart goes out to the mother, this is something she will suffer every single day of the rest of her life...I wouldn't wish that on anyone. To every other parent out there, fencing off or covering pools isn't a sufficient precaution. There are so many other sources of water that pose as a death threat to young children. Take your children for swimming lessons. My son has been doing swimming lessons since the age of two, they are never too young to start, there are many schools that can teach your children safety in and around water as well as skills in swimming. It's really the only sure way to ensure the safety of our children!!

  • Rinnewien - 2012-04-14 20:34

    How on earth do you allow children to play around the pool? People should fence their pools in with a secure gate and even then watch small chidren!!!

  • Moitsi - 2012-04-14 21:23

    That's why I will never buy a swimming pool in my house coz I can't swim also,my 5 year always asks me to buy it.May the little one rest in peace *sad story*

  • Irene - 2012-04-14 22:10

    Common sense is the problem here. When my dogs were puppies, the first thing I did was put a net on the pool and until it was on, there was no way they could out to the pool area. Common sense. Logic.

      Raj - 2012-04-15 00:21

      Well said Irene, I stand to correction on this one however I think that the emergency services has a regulation in place that domestic pools should either be cordoned off or have a safety net in place if not in use. Sorry for the loss of this little child, negligence played a major role in this sad incident. My condolences.

  • Ryan - 2012-04-14 22:33

    Arsehol parent!!! Allowing a 2 yr old and 4 yr old to play around a pool without a net..when she cant swim herself..

  • Charles Oehley - 2012-04-15 09:00

    This mother is can suffer for the rest of her life!! Children playing next to uncovered pool without supervision and she can't swim, how stupid is that....!!!!

  • Raj - 2012-04-15 10:05

    What a tragedy. If government hosts free workshops to adults and kids teaching them basic life skills such as swimming, first aid etc, will be of so much value to any household. I stand to correction on this one however I think that the emergency services has a regulation in place that domestic pools should either have a fencing with a self locking gate or have a safety net in place if not in use. Sorry for the loss of this little child, negligence played a major role in this sad incident. My condolences

  • Bless Boswell - 2012-04-15 10:25

    It's all very well to point fingers at the parents, but did you know that someone drowned in a pothole after an accident? The pothole was only 4 inches deep. Remember when you point a finger, you have 3 pointing back at you!!!

  • Raj - 2012-04-15 10:36

    The new draft swimming pool by-laws for the City of Joburg have resulted in contradictory views being expressed by pool owners regarding practicality if implemented. This article will briefly highlight the contents of the by-laws and various views expressed.\r\n\r\nEXISTING PRIVATELY OWNED SWIMMING POOLS\r\n\r\nWithin ninety days of promulgation of this by-law, every Johannesburg resident who presently owns a swimming pool will be required to advise the Council thereof. A swimming pool will not be able to be maintained or used, unless the pool is registered, and a permit is issued by the Council. Owners will be given a two year grace period from date of promulgation to obtain the permit.\r\n\r\nOn receipt of an application for the registration of a pool, the Council will within two weeks mandate an official to inspect the applicant's pool, and based on the report decide if a permit should be issued.\r\n\r\nResidents hoping to get new pools will first have to get permission from the City's Building Control Department.\r\n\r\nOUTDOOR POOLS\r\n\r\nOwners will be required to enclose their pools with a fence or a wall in accordance with the National Building Regulations standard. This wall or fence must not be less than 1,2 meters in height, and not less than one meter measured horizontally from the waters edge. A gate or door attached to this enclosure must contain a self-closing and self-locking device, together with an exit alarm.\r\n\r\nEvery outdoor swimming pool must be secured with a pool cover or be fitted with a floating pool alarm device at all times when the pool is not use. The Council may exempt an owner from complying with this section if it is satisfied with the efficiency of any other means of protection which is used.\r\n\r\nINDOOR POOLS\r\n\r\nFor indoor swimming pools, a floor glide system in the swimming pool is required, or a floating alarm system device must be fitted.\r\n\r\nThe Council may appoint an authorized official who may at any reasonable time without prior notice enter any premises to carry out an inspection to see if the provisions of the by-laws are complied with.\r\n\r\nAny person guilty of contravening these by-laws may be liable to a conviction of a fine, or on default of payment to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months. If the offence continues, a further fine of R50, 00 per day will be charged, and on default of this payment, a person may be imprisoned for a period not exceeding a day for every day during the continuance of such offence.\r\n\r\nThe aforementioned proposed by-laws are aimed at saving lives, especially children's lives. According to the Emergency Management Services of Johannesburg fifty five people have drowned in public and private pools from September 2006 to February 2007. According to a report by Nick Dollman, Netcare 911, for every one child that dies as a result of a drowning accident, five are left with permanent irreversible damage.\r\n\r\nEnsuring that the by laws are being followed will be difficult for the City of Joburg to monitor practically. Access into homes is not readily given by South Africans to any outsider. If an alarm is activated due to a bird or insect sitting on it, or if a person is drowning, it is questionable if the neighbours will respond to the alarm. How will they obtain access to the property in an emergency?\r\n\r\nSome residents have complained that a fence or wall around their pool may not fit in with the design of their gardens. A fence or wall will affect the aesthetic appearance of their homes.\r\n\r\nMany have indicated that they do not have children, nor do they entertain children. By enclosing their pools, no positive purpose will be served.\r\n\r\nIf a solid wall is built a meter away from the pool with a height of one comma two meters, this may also pose a danger to children swimming, as the enclosure is far too small, and adults will not be in a position to monitor them easily.\r\n\r\nThe cost of fencing, building walls, obtaining alarm systems, nets, permits, and pool gliding systems may prove astronomical. According to the by-law these costs will be required to be borne by the swimming pool owner.\r\n\r\nA swimming pool refers to a privately owned indoor or outdoor swimming pool capable of containing water to a depth of more than 300mm. A pool is described as a structure that is being used and is capable of being used for the purpose of swimming, wading (walking in water) and bathing, and includes a spa pool. A water feature or pond is not covered by the by-law.\r\n\r\nUltimately it is the parent's responsibility to ensure the safety of their children. Rather legislate that parents are required to install alarms on doors and windows of their own homes, as opposed to childless home owners bearing the responsibility and expense of doing so.\r\n\r\nWill temporary inflatable pools have to be enclosed? Who will be liable for the costs of adhering to these by laws in a sectional complex? Will the owner be punished or imprisoned if his tenant fails to abide by the rules? These issues are not specifically covered in the draft by-laws. However with time and deliberation, the City will hopefully clarify these issues.\r\n\r\nOn weighing the various views above, I am of the opinion that the draft by-laws if implemented will be extremely difficult to monitor. In terms of the law of delict, compensation can be claimed where the homeowner is found to be negligent, and in the case of drowning, the home owner may be criminally charged for culpable homicide.\r\n\r\nWe have been advised by the City that the time period to submit views on the draft policy has been extended to the 30 April 2009. Public hearings will follow this procedure. If the document is approved by various committees in Council, it will be enacted as a by-law

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