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Two near-drownings highlight pool safety issues

The importance of pool safety came to the forefront this week in the wake of two near-drownings in Lexington.

Two children have been pulled from swimming pools in Lexington this week.

About 4 p.m. Tuesday, a 3-year-old boy was found at the bottom of a pool at 200 Alsab Court, off Codell Drive, according to Lexington Fire Department battalion chief Steven Sea. The child was taken to University of Kentucky Hospital after bystanders and emergency medical technicians administered cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, he said.

Early Sunday, a 14-year-old girl was pulled from the bottom of the swimming pool at the Aintree Condominium complex at 421 Redding Road after her arm was sucked into a drain at the bottom of the pool, according to Lexington police. The incident occurred around 4 a.m.

The names and conditions of both victims were not available. However, police said the girl's condition was life-threatening just after the accident.

Pool safety is mostly common sense, said Lexington Assistant Fire Chief Chuck Fowler.

“It's nothing new, but don't ever leave small children unsupervised. All you have to do is run in the house to answer the phone and a child can get into trouble.”

The teenager was with two friends, both also juveniles, when that accident occurred. The uninjured youths were charged with criminal trespassing, police said.

Betsy Howard, who said she was the mother of one of the uninjured juveniles, a 14-year-old girl, said that the youths had used the pool before.

The two girls and a boy, also 14, were having a sleepover at Howard's house, which is near the condominium complex, she said. She said the teens were good children who did not use alcohol or illegal drugs. She said that she was asleep when the trio left her house.

“They knew it (using the pool) was okay during the day. Of course they knew it was wrong to sneak out and go swimming at night,” she said.

“This is just a horrible, horrible accident.”

Howard claimed that the drain at the bottom of the pool had no grate on it and that lighting around the pool was not operational at the time of the incident.

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department inspected both pools recently and gave them high ratings. The Redding Road pool was inspected June 2 and received a 100 rating. The inspection report indicated there were no violations.

The pool at Lexington Villas at 200 Alsab Court got a 95 after an inspection on July 3, which found that the bottom of the pool was not clean and a telephone was not working properly. That pool was inspected again on July 16 and got a 100, with no violations.