A 7-year-old Fullerton boy died after he drowned in a La Habra Heights swimming pool late the night of July 9. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, Levi Hardy was pronounced dead early morning July 10 at a Fullerton hospital. Police say the boy along with his father and siblings were visiting friends in the 1200 block of Mayapan Road in La Habra Heights. Officials said Levi couldn’t swim, but was wearing the life jacket. At some point, the boy took his life jacket off.
Levi’s siblings later spotted him lying at the bottom of the swimming pool and told their father who jumped in the pool, pulled his son out and tried to resuscitate him. When firefighters arrived at the scene, the child wasn’t breathing. He was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead the following morning.
Our deepest condolences go out to the family members of Levi Hardy for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Tragic Drowning Incidents
Based on this news report, it appears that Levi did not know how to swim and drowned after removing his life jacket. Officials have deemed there was no crime here and that it was simply a tragic accident. Unfortunately, this is a tragedy we see over and over again, particularly in the hot summer months when families enjoy time in backyard swimming pools. While we do see a few beach drownings each year, a vast majority of drowning and near-drowning incidents occur in backyard pools.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), drowning is the second leading cause of death for children 1 to 4 years old in California, right behind birth defects. Most common, and tragically so, young children drown when they are able to gain access to a backyard pool without a parent or other adult realizing it. Even children who survive a drowning event are left with lifelong disabilities due to brain damage. When a child is submerged even for a short time, oxygen to the brain is cut off causing irreversible brain damage.
Swimming Pool Safety
There are steps parents and caregivers can take to avoid these tragic swimming pool accidents:
- Teach your child to swim. If your child cannot swim, do not allow him or her into the water even with inflatables or a life jacket.
- Surround your pool with a fence that has a door, which can be locked.
- Equip your pool area and back door with alarms so you know when a child has found his or way to the water.
- Children should always be closely supervised by adults any time they are in or near the water. There is really no substitute for adult supervision.
If your child has been injured in a swimming pool accident on someone else’s property or under someone else’s supervision or care, you may be able to seek compensation for your losses. An experienced California swimming pool accident lawyer can help you better understand your legal rights and options.