(NEW YORK) — A video of a toddler scaling a locked and covered ladder to reach an above-ground pool has now gone viral online, serving as a warning for all families.
Keith Wyman posted a video on Facebook last Friday of his 2-year-old son Cody successfully climbing a covered and padlocked pool ladder. The young child is seen grabbing on to the gated ladder and lifting himself up to the top of the protective cover when his mother quickly picks him up and removes him.
The concerned father said he posted the video to stress the importance of watching young ones near a pool.
“It was scary because everything happened so fast,” Wyman told ABC News. “He was four feet from us and when I turned to see what actually he was doing, he was up the ladder like an American ninja.”
His wife, Tonya Wyman, added, “You just have to watch them. Every minute. Every day.”
Their video has more than 20 million views on Facebook.
Earlier this month in Fort Worth, Texas, two toddlers nearly drowned in an above-ground pool just feet away from their mothers.
Tanah Zuniga and her sister, Karly James, were inside the house when James’ 2-year-old son and Zuniga’s 17-month-old son somehow managed to unlock the back door and climb into the pool.
A backyard surveillance camera showed the moment the 17-month-old followed the 2-year-old into the water. Zuniga’s son immediately went under before being rescued and resuscitated.
“Five minutes underwater drowning and I pulled him out blue and white,” she told ABC News.
Expert advice for keeping kids safe around pools
There are more than 3 million above-ground pools in the U.S. and drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children ages 1 to 4, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Jim Spiers, president of the nonprofit Stop Drowning Now, said one major problem is leaving pool toys and floats in the pool where kids can see them.
“These are very intriguing to children,” he said. “They are going to want to go in and get them.”
Other Expert Suggestions
— Never take your eyes off kids who are in or near a pool.
— If you need to go inside, bring them with you.
— When the pool is unoccupied secure it with multiple protective layers (i.e. fences, gates).
— Install alarms on back doors, windows and gates that will sound if a child gets too close.
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