Boston/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on June 21, 2024
Shock in Haverhill as Toddler Found Unresponsive in Pool, Local Boy Praised for Quick ResponseSource: Unsplash/ Juan Patlan

An incident in Haverhill, Massachusetts, has brought the critical issue of pool safety to the fore after a 2-year-old girl was found unresponsive in a swimming pool. According to NBC Boston, emergency services were called to a residence on Groveland Street where the young child was discovered in the pool and initially not breathing. First responders administered CPR before the child was urgently transported to a Boston hospital in critical condition.

Family members and neighbors have been left reeling by the event, which occurred on an otherwise ordinary Wednesday afternoon. Kelsi Swiger, a relative of the family, recounted the harrowing moments when the toddler, who had been inside the house with her mother, managed to make her way outside and into the above-ground pool. Despite the presence of security measures such as a gate and a lock, "It wasn't because she wasn't watching them or anything like that," Swiger explained in a statement obtained by NBC Boston. "It can happen to anybody, it's a freak accident."

A 12-year-old boy who was at the scene acted promptly, pulling the child from the water and calling 911 for help. This courageous act was of significant importance, and Swiger emphasized, "He's obviously emotional, because he feels he could do more or could have done more," adding in a statement to NBC Boston, "And we just keep telling him, 'You did everything right, you jumped right in, you got her, you called 911.'"

The Haverhill Police Department reported that they responded to the emergency at 12:27 p.m., swiftly performing lifesaving measures on the child. By 3:07 p.m., she was in critical condition, fighting for her life in a Boston-area hospital, with her family gathered around her hoping for a recovery. "Family is surrounding her and we just ask that everybody continue to pray for her," Swiger told WHDH. The incident has not only shaken the family, but serves as a stark reminder of the potential dangers that pools can pose, even when preventative measures are in place. "There's a lock, there’s every possible thing you can imagine, to keep all their kids safe," Swiger added, underscoring that accidents like this can occur unexpectedly.

The Haverhill community has been alerted to this tragedy as investigations continue to understand how such an accident could have happened. Neighbors and authorities alike are using this as an impetus to spread awareness about pool safety and the need for constant vigilance, even in familiar surroundings equipped with safety features.