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Toddler dies after drowning in Raleigh neighborhood pool :: WRAL.com

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— A toddler has died after drowning in a community swimming pool in the McKinley Mill neighborhood of Raleigh.

The child had been reported missing and was last seen at a nearby playground just a few feet away.

A father of a one-year-old daughter was devastated to learn about a child drowning in his neighborhood pool just feet from his home.

“It’s rough when you think somebody just lost their two-year-old,” said the neighbor. “I looked out the window and there was the whole parking lot of police and all kinds of neighbors out [there].”

Emergency responders found the two-year-old in the swimming pool along Pritchard Court before 8 p.m. Wednesday.

The pool is not scheduled to open until May according to neighbors. With locks on gates, many question how the child got in.

And why he was alone.

“There’s several steps along the way that could have prevented a drowning,” said the neighbor.

Susannah Baird, a certified infant swim resource instructor, works specifically with children from six months to six years old.

“Drowning can happen in seconds,” said Baird. “We teach to rollback and float and hold their breath properly underwater”

Self-rescue skills Baird said are crucial to know. Children can start lessons as early as six months old.

“The idea is for them to be able to float indefinitely for someone to notice that they might be missing, see them and then scoop them up and bring them to safety,” said Baird.

As pools begin to open for summer, some parents see swimming lessons as an extra layer of protection to prevent another child from drowning.

“I can’t even begin to imagine how much that family is hurting right now,” said the neighbor. “It’s just awful.”

So far, no charges have been filed.

As for swim lessons, instructors recommend coming back every six months to refresh their skills.

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