Pasco mom of drowning victim asks parents to pay attention - WRBL

Pasco mom of drowning victim asks parents to pay attention

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Katelyn T. Michaud was 2 when she drowned in her backyard pool Katelyn T. Michaud was 2 when she drowned in her backyard pool
PASCO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Sandra Testo-Michaud remembers her 2-year-old as "full of energy."

"We called her the little monkey she was all over the place," Testo-Michaud said.

In 2004, her daughter, Katelyn, walked out the sliding glass door and into the deep end of the family pool.

"I found her within a few minutes and she was already gone," Testo-Michaud said. "It happens that quick. People don't realize it's so silent and so fast and toddlers are so quick."

Since then, the Pasco County mom's made it her mission to educate people on the importance of swim safety. She's saddened but not surprised by the new statistics from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The report, just released Wednesday morning, details Florida drowning deaths in 2012. 

"In 2012, data from USA Swimming shows that 42 children younger than 15 died in Florida alone as a result of poor pool safety practices."

The report also states

  • Florida leads the country in unintentional drownings among children younger than 15, a majority of whom are younger than five years old
  • Children younger than 5 represent nearly 76 percent of pool and spa drowning deaths and 78 percent of injuries treated in emergency rooms in the United States.

Testo-Michaud says even though the statistics look bad, she has faith that the organizations, including her personal effort with the Katelyn Foundation, are making a difference. Testo-Michaud now teaches swim lessons in her backyard. She warns, though, that teaching a child to swim is not enough and parents need to be proactive in setting up a safe environment.

"Know that your child could be one of the statistics. I just got goose bumps because mine is a statistic," she said with tears in her eyes. "Know don't ignore it. I's very important that you know the importance of drowning issues."

 

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