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Lifeguard implores parents to practice water safety following drowning

By Max Bowen-max.bowen@northstarreporter.com

John Moore, a lifeguard instructor at the YMCA and lifeguard for many years, offered solemn advice to parents following the drowning death of a 1-year-old in Wrentham.

On June 19, Wrentham Police responded to a report of a possible drowning. The child was pulled from the pool and given CPR. The child was transported to Landmark Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Moore—speaking at a Town Council meeting on June 21—said that the summer swimming season is now well underway. The town’s WWII Memorial Pool is slated to open on July 1. He said that water safety needs to be at the “top of our priorities.”

It can happen so fast,” said Moore. “There is so much that we can do to keep thinking of people’s safety.”

The Hockomock YMCA offers a number of swim classes for children as young as 6 months old. According to Mass.Gov, in 2015, 39 unintentional drowning deaths occurred in Massachusetts and an additional 223 nonfatal near-drowning cases required treatment at a hospital. Drowning was the leading cause of unintentional injury death among Massachusetts children 0-14 years in 2015.

Moore said that people should be free to have fun in the water, but care needs to be taken to keep everyone safe. He suggested a fence near the pool, and the gate should be locked if there is no adult supervision. He said parents should learn to swim, as should their children. He encouraged parents to watch their children “like a hawk.”

They’re curious and unpredictable and fast,” said Moore. “They can do it in a heartbeat. Use this as a reminder.”

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