Cops: East Islip toddler drowns in pool

Investigators check the measurements of a pool at

Investigators check the measurements of a pool at Laurel Avenue in East Islip, after police say a toddler drowned. (July 4, 2012) (Credit: James Carbone)

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An East Islip toddler drowned after getting into the family's backyard pool Wednesday, Suffolk police said.

Byron McArthur, 21 months old, had climbed a ladder to get into an above-ground pool shortly before 12:40 p.m., police said.

When officers arrived at the Laurel Avenue home, they found the mother trying to resuscitate her son, police said.

The toddler was taken to Southside Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

It's not clear if anyone was in the backyard when Byron climbed the ladder, but police said a family member found him at the bottom of the pool

Homicide detectives are investigating the death.

Wednesday's pool death appeared to be the second this year on Long Island. On June 10, a 4-year-old Hauppauge boy fell into his family's pool. He was pulled out by his father, who tried to revive him, but he later died.

Keeping kids safe

Beach and pool season means extra precautions are in order. Here are tips from safety experts to protect children near water:

* Maintain constant visual contact. No reading, glancing at Facebook, reviewing a report.

* With children under 5, use "touch supervision": stay within arm's length at all times.

* Actively supervise children, even if lifeguards are present.

* Don't trust a child's well-being to another child.

* Rotate supervisor duty, wearing and then passing on "water watcher" tags or badges.

* Check the water first if a child is missing.

* Give children and caregivers swimming lessons.

* Make sure caregivers know CPR and water-rescue techniques.

* Install fencing at least 4 feet high around the pool, with self-closing, self-latching gates.

* Have rescue equipment -- life rings, shepherd's hooks, life jackets -- close at hand and know how to use them.

* Keep inflatable pools empty and turned upside down when not in use.

* Swim only in designated areas where a lifeguard is on duty.

-- Patricia Kitchen

SOURCES: Nassau County Police, Safe Kids USA, Long Island Drowning Prevention Task Force, American Red Cross

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