Pool Safety: Electrocutions Raise Alarm Before Summer

BY TOM COSTELLO and WAKEUP CALL

The tragic death of a boy electrocuted in a North Miami swimming pool in April has raised alarm among parents — and now water safety experts are warning hotels and families to take extra caution as kids get revved up for summer vacation.

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Calder Sloan, a vivacious and athletic 7-year-old, dies April 13th after being electrocuted in a swimming pool. Police are investigating whether a faulty pool light that may have sent charges coursing through the water is to blame.

“They found the ground cable wasn’t hooked up,” Calder’s father, Chris Sloan, told NBC News. “So, essentially, Calder became the ground. Electricity, instead of traveling to the ground, traveled through his body.”

And just two weeks later, three kids — 5-year-old Danielle Gamez, her 10-year-old brother Diego, and a third child — were badly shocked in a swimming pool at a Miami-area condominium complex.

“When they grabbed onto the metal railing, that’s when they got the shock and they just — they were paralyzed,” Mayra Diaz, the victims’ cousin said.

City inspectors say bad wiring was the likely culprit behind the freak incident, which was captured in stomach-churning surveillance footage. Luckily, all three children survived after adults dragged their apparently limp bodies out of the water.

In the wake of these terrifying incidents, water safety advocates are calling on pool owners and hotels to take precautions. Make sure the electrical equipment is a safe distance away from the pool and that the pool is properly maintained so there’s no corrosion on the wires.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission and the American Red Cross together are recommending electrical inspections for all public and private pools, especially older pools. Hopefully, inspections and repairs will protect swimmers from being electrocuted by faulty underwater or poolside wiring.

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