7-year-old saves baby sister from near-drowning in Clearwater, child remains in critical condition

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CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – A 15-month-old was rushed to the hospital this week after falling into a pool.

Clearwater police say it happened at a family home on Douglas Avenue just after 8 p.m. Monday.

Investigators say family and friends were over for dinner when they went inside, but left one of the doors open.

“Early on in the investigation, it appears that there was a door, a sliding glass door in the rear of the house that was left open. She was able to walk through and ultimately fall into the pool,” said Lt. Michael Walek.

The toddler’s sister noticed her and jumped in.

“There were other family members at the house that started doing CPR, while other people were calling 911, but she’s the one that actually found her in the pool and removed her from the pool,” said Walek.

Police say it’s the second time this month a child has fallen into a pool in Clearwater.

A 22-month-old was found by her father on July 1 in the back yard pool on South Prescott Avenue. She passed away days later at the hospital.

City leaders are spreading the word about pool safety.

“Designating somebody at the pool if you’re at a party to have a designated pool watcher at all times and the whole water safety aspect,” said Shawn Beasley, recreation coordinator with the City of Clearwater.

Classes are available all across the area.

“We’re offering about 600 swim lessons just between the Long Center and Morningside,” said Beasley.

Accidental drowning is the leading cause of preventable deaths for children in Florida.

The city of Clearwater is offering affordable swim lessons starting at $10 but will work with families who can’t afford it. For more information, visit MyClearwaterParks.com.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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