Spring has sprung, so that means pool season is upon us, so first responders want to make sure those planning to jump in a pool are prepared.
On Thursday, the City of Henderson kicked-off their 7th Annual April Pools Day event geared towards pool safety.
Pool safety is very important to Cierra Sonetti.
“It’s a passion of mine because it’s preventable,” said Sonetti. “I don’t want any family to live the life that I lived and the life Austin lived.
Sonetti’s son, Austin, was injured in a drowning accident in a backyard swimming pool.
“We guess he was under the pool cover for at least 6 to 8 minutes,” Sonetti said.
The accident changed things for Austin and disabled him for life.
“I became a medical mom,” Sonetti said. “I bent over backwards; his recovery was the world to me and I did that for 10 years. However, during those 10 years, I would continue to watch the news — and I would see stories of kids drowning and it angered me because it is 100% preventable.”
Last year alone, 44 kids under the age of 14 were involved in drowning accidents in southern Nevada. Nine of them died.
Sonetti’s son Austin passed away two years after his accident.
“I was that parent who thought, ‘that will never happen to me,’ Sonetti said. “I didn’t know anything about it; I had no idea. You don’t realize those things until they happen to you.”
Drownings are the leading cause of death for kids in the valley area. Backyard swimming pools pose the biggest risks.
“Austin’s accident was on April 23rd at a pool party, and family gathering and everyone thought he was safe,” according to Sonetti.
Sonetti continued by saying, everyone assumes all of the kids are safe, and that someone is watching. But in reality, there’s a lot of people around, no one’s watching them.
Officials say it’s important to practice the A-B-C and D’s of pool safety.
“A” Stands for adult supervision. “B” means barriers or creating a way of preventing your kids from getting into the pool without your permission. “C” stands for classes on how to float in the water, and “D” means using devices like a life jacket or floaties.
Firefighters say children don’t make a lot of noise, so it’s hard to know if they have fallen in the water. Experts say that’s why it’s important for adults to keep an eye out.