A toddler is dead after drowning in his family's pool. The tragedy happened Wednesday in rural Grain Valley, MO.
The Jackson County Sheriff's Office continues to investigate the drowning that happened about 5:45 p.m. at a home off of Perdue Road.
The child's mother said they were having a family gathering there and they temporarily lost track of 2-year-old Zeb'Ulen Klaus. While looking for him, the mother said they found him floating in an above-ground pool at the rear of the home.
The young boy was taken to the hospital where he later died.
Courtney Meyer is a swim safety expert with the YMCA. She said, unfortunately, tragedy can happen in moments.
"The supervision is so very important in making sure there are locks on the doors and there are safety precautions around the pool and the gates because kids are going to go to the pool. That's where the fun is. They're drawn to the water," Meyer said.
She said it's also important to teach kids specific things before they ever step foot in the water.
"What does a 5-foot area look like? What does a 3-foot area in the pool look like? Also just making sure that they understand who to call if they do get into trouble," Meyer said.
She also emphasized that how deep a pool is has almost no bearing on a drowning.
"Someone can drown in less than a foot of water, in just 6 inches of water. We've seen that happen before so we always have to be cautious when we're around any type of body of water," Meyer said.
Meyer recommends a "water watcher" where a responsible adult is designated to watch the kids when they're in or around a pool. It means no texting or talking on a phone. Also, no reading or talking to friends. When that person has to step away the task is passed on to another responsible adult who promises to do the same thing.
According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every day 10 people drown. Of those, two are 14 years old or younger.
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