16-month-old toddler drowns in Kirkland

François Lemieux
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Incident brings drowning death toll to 40 in Quebec this year

A 16-month-old girl drowned in a residential pool in Kirkland Wednesday morning on Labrador Street.

The child was found unconscious and not breathing by the mother. A call was placed to Urgences-Santé at 9:40 a.m. The mother had set the child in front of the television inside the house while she was doing something else upstairs.

According to Urgences-Santé spokesperson Stéphane Smith, when she came downstairs 10 minutes later, she realized the child was not there anymore. Looking around, she found her in the pool, lifeless. There was no fence around the in-ground pool and the patio door was open save for the screendoor.

The victim was brought to the hospital in a vain attempt to revive her. The victim's mother was also brought to the hospital to be treated as she suffered shock as a result of the incident.

Montreal police Constable Anie Lemieux said there was nothing criminal about the incident which she deems extremely unfortunate.

Director of the Quebec Lifesaving Society Raynald Hawkins feels disappointed by the incident and thinks this could have been avoided.

“I am disappointed. We repeat our key messages year after year with our backyard pool safety program. When we have an incident like yesterday’s, it’s a good time to repeat the message about back yard pools: that a second fence is safer. We want parents to say, this is a good idea and will allow them to better ensure safety in in-ground pools and allow them to control the action from inside their homes.We will see a decrease in drownings if people take these steps,” he said.

“The life society has a Swim to Survive program. Sixty per cent of students that pass through the program are recommended to take further swimming lessons. As you may know now, the Minister of Education, will ask schools to take on swimming instruction and the Ministry is prepared to subsidize the program for transport and instruction. The Minister is ready to support the lifesaving society in its instruction. “

The victim’s death brings the drowning death toll to 40 this year in Quebec, up from 21 at the same date last year. More details to follow.

Geographic location: Montreal, Kirkland, Labrador Street

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