Montreal

Boy, 4, drowns in Pierrefonds

A 4-year-old boy drowned in a neighbour's pool in Montreal's Pierrefonds-Roxboro borough after his babysitter lost sight of him Sunday.

Safety experts renewing calls for tougher rules for backyard pools

A 4-year-old boy drowned in a neighbour's pool in Montreal's Pierrefonds-Roxboro borough after his babysitter lost sight of him Sunday.

Police say the boy slipped away from the 26-year-old woman looking after him and went into the neighbour's backyard, where the pool was not yet open for the season and filled with stagnant water.

The boy removed his clothes and jumped in the pool, and firefighters had to use poles to search for the boy in the murky water.

He was rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police, who are still investigating whether negligence charges are warranted, said there was a fence around the backyard but not around the pool itself.

In Laval, a 3-year-old boy was resuscitated after he was pulled out of a pool on Sunday by a family member.

Safety experts slam existing pool laws

"It is absolutely essential to be vigilant around pools and it just takes a split second for something like this to happen," said Debbie Friedman, Trauma Director at the Montreal Children's Hospital.

Last year, the province of Quebec passed legislation mandating locked gates and fences around new backyard pools.

However, the rules do not apply to hundreds of thousands of pools that were built before the law was passed, because the province said it would cost too much for pool owners to modify their yards.

"I think it should apply to all pools," Friedman said. "When we see these types of tragic events that are preventable, I think it's a no-brainer."

Quebec leads the country in backyard pool drownings, according to statistics compiled by Safe Kids Canada in 2007.

 

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