Boy, 3, dead after he and sister, 2, wander into canal

A 3-year-old boy died Wednesday after he was pulled from the bottom of a canal behind his family’s Coral Springs home.

Police say the incident happened around 12:30 p.m. in the 8500 block of NW 40th Street while the child’s mother was taking a shower.

“When she got out of the shower, she saw the front door was open,” said Lt. Joe McHugh of the Coral Springs Police Department. She ran outside and found her 2-year-old daughter standing in the canal, but couldn’t see her son.

Neighbors called for help after they heard the woman’s screams.

“It was in a different language, so I thought she was singing at first. Then I heard the panic in her voice,” said Seleena Aranguren, who lives in the the neighboring apartment complex.

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While many parents worry about their children’s safety around swimming pools, drowning incidents occur in all bodies of water, so safety precautions need to be taken around all water environments.

According to the Center for Disease Control, about half of all drowning incidents occur in natural…

While many parents worry about their children’s safety around swimming pools, drowning incidents occur in all bodies of water, so safety precautions need to be taken around all water environments.

According to the Center for Disease Control, about half of all drowning incidents occur in natural…

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From her balcony, Aranguren, 19, saw the woman in a night gown pacing back and forth in front of the canal, crying for help in Creole.

Then she heard the woman say, “my baby, my baby,” and ran outside to help while her husband, Cameron Jones, called police.

“I had heard someone outside, but I had no idea what was happening,” Jones, 30, said. “Our bedroom window looks directly down at that canal, and I was staring at the ceiling for like 20 minutes. I feel like we could have helped more.”

The couple said they hesitated getting into the water because they didn’t see any ripples in the dark canal water and they couldn’t understand much of what the woman was saying.

“The water was so still,” Aranguren said. “There was just no life in that water.”

In just a few minutes, Jones said he saw several unmarked police cars pull up and then five or six officers jumped into the canal. A few seconds later, one of them said, “I got him,” and pulled out the child from the water.

“It was real at that moment,” Aranguren said. “She dropped to the floor.”

Both children and their mother were taken to Broward Health Coral Springs, where the boy died, McHugh said.

Drowning is one of the leading causes of death among children under age 5, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger.

In January, a 3-year-old boy was found at the bottom of a pool in Oakland Park and a 4-year-old boy nearly drowned in a cruise ship pool.

In October 2014, two sisters, ages 4 and 2, died after they were found in the canal behind their Margate home. Earlier in 2014, two sets of 2-year-old twins were pulled from pools in Deerfield Beach and Sunrise.

“Drownings are 100 percent preventable, by supervising children and teaching them how to swim,” said Coral Springs Fire Rescue Division Chief Mike Moser. “People need to remember we live in South Florida and we are surrounded by water,”

rpiccardo@tribpub.com, 954-356-4544 or Twitter: @rebecapiccardo

Article source: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/parkland/fl-coral-springs-canal-child-dies-20150930-story.html

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