4-year-old drowns in local pool

LAWRENCEVILLE -- The tragic Father's Day drowning of a 4-year-old girl is another grim reminder of pool safety, officials say.

The girl, who has not been identified, was pulled from the Durant at Sugarloaf Apartments' pool about 6:48 p.m. Sunday and firefighters were unable to save the girl despite performing CPR on the way to the hospital, Gwinnett Fire spokesman Capt. Thomas Rutledge said.

While the girl was at the pool with her father and a sibling, it was unclear if her family members were in the water at the time of the incident, and Rutledge said her death should serve as a reminder that children should be constantly monitored.

"This is a tragic thing to have happen on Father's Day and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the young victim," Rutledge said. "This is another example of why it is so important to supervise children while at the pool or any other body of water."

School has been out for less than a month, but the drowning is the second in the past week at local apartment complexes.

Last Monday, a 7-year-old was found unconscious in the Amli at McGinnis Ferry apartment complex pool.

Another incident in Lilburn on Monday was not fatal, but provided still another reminder of the inherent dangers of pooltime.

About 4:15 p.m., firefighters responded to the Ridgeland Forest subdivision swimming pool. There, a 14-year-old boy, at the pool with his 16-year-old brother, was floating face down in the water, Rutledge said.

The boy was resuscitated by the lifeguard and his brother before being taken to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. His condition was stable, Rutledge said.

Drowning is the second leading cause of death for children, and Rutledge said parents should be wary, even if a child knows how to swim.

"The Gwinnett County Department of Fire and Emergency Services invites people of all ages to enjoy the summer, especially those activities that involve the water. Practicing basic safety rules can provide for a safe and enjoyable atmosphere for everyone," Rutledge said, giving a laundry list of safety tips, including closely monitoring children and avoiding using alcohol.

In 2006, the fire department responded to 28 near-drowning incidents.