Four Year Old Child Falls Into Pool in Clayton on Christmas Night

December 25, 2013 23:15 pm · 36 comments

A four year old child fell into a pool on Inverness Way in Clayton on Christmas night and was found unconscious, according to paramedics.

Dispatchers say CPR instructions were given to the family of the child when 911 was called, and the child was alive and crying about a minute later when police, paramedics and firefighters arrived on scene, according to the Concord Police.

The child’s condition is currently unknown. He/she was brought to John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek at about 7:30pm.


1 Amanda December 25, 2013 at 11:22 PM

Kudos to the dispatcher who gave the (possibly) life saving instructions. Prayers to the family.

2 Sending Prayers December 25, 2013 at 11:23 PM

Sending prayers and wishes for the speedy recovery of this precious child.

3 Thankful December 26, 2013 at 1:15 AM

Very happy to hear that baby is ok. If you have a pool please watch your children. Kids are attracted to water and accidents can happen in the blink of an eye.
Great job to all who helped save this childs life. God Bless you little one. Merry Christmas

4 Praying for all involved - and a question December 26, 2013 at 3:52 AM

I wonder, in such a case, whether the instructions are compressions only or compressions + breathing? When I took CPR, it was compressions + breathing, but I heard that CPR instructions have changed…I would think compressions + breathing would be the better choice.

5 ARC December 26, 2013 at 4:38 AM

This is a great example of why everyone should learn CPR. It’s easy to do, and really does save lives.

6 Craig Cannon December 26, 2013 at 5:10 AM

Joy, My Love and Prayers for a Chistmas Time Miricle Please. Just Knowing The Young One is Doing Fine would Dazzle And Delight My Rather Awful Chistmas This Year. Lord Bless The Little Child. Especially the One I Don’t Even know. Peace to Mom, Dad, or Both as they Cope with The Sudden Unexpected Jolt of this Sensation of Uncertainty. Angels Stand Guard, Please.

7 crystal December 26, 2013 at 5:28 AM

Prayers to the family. I’m so glad thE child is alive.God is good please continue to watch over this child and with a speedy recovery. In Jesus name we pray AMEN

8 Killjoy December 26, 2013 at 6:30 AM

Did that pool not have a fence around it? Why was a four year old allowed to play near a pool, unsupervised?

I hope the child will make a full recovery.

9 Nutcreek Frontier December 26, 2013 at 7:06 AM

A Christmas miracle…rare for these stories to end on happy note. Prayers that the child recovers fully.

10 Susanne Renner December 26, 2013 at 7:57 AM

Sending positive healing thoughts that this child make a full recovery. Blessings to the family as they navigate each day.

11 mommyof3 December 26, 2013 at 8:12 AM

Is there an update on this little one? Praying for this child and their family, what a tragic thing to happen. Thanks, Mayor.

12 ANON December 26, 2013 at 8:42 AM

Was there a fence around the pool??
Many of these incidents are preventable (if not all)

13 mike December 26, 2013 at 9:26 AM

to #4 now for children its 15 compressions and 2 breaths adults its 30 and 2

14 ANNONeeemoose December 26, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Why so judgemental. It may not have had a fence. There are requirements for self closing gates, doors, alarms but many do not have a fence also around the pool. Mine always had a fence AND a child safe cover when my kids were very young, but remember, this was Christmas, these people may have been at an unfamiliar house. Yes more eyes should’ve been on the child and they should’ve been extra diligent if people were going in and out of the house to the back yard with a child who can not swim.

And as a reminder to all. If you are EVER at a house with a pool and a child goes missing, RUN immediately to the EDGE of the pool to look there FIRST! You have all the time in the world to search the rest of the house, only seconds to check that pool. Kids drowning does not look or sound like the movies. It is silent. They often slip in from the edge and stay at the edge where you can NOT see them if you are looking from a distance. Go to the edge and look. FAST. I hate hearing these stories. As my kids were growing up I was paranoid beyond belief.

Assign ONE person to watch that child. Children are must vulnerable around pools in groups where everyone thinks someone else is watching.

Sounds like this family got lucky and found the child fast.

Learn CPR too. Everyone should know CPR. It is compressions only now.

15 Shasta Daisy December 26, 2013 at 9:36 AM

Prayers for a full recovery.

16 jb December 26, 2013 at 9:38 AM

I hope the child will make a recovery and be ok now…yes please put a fence around the pool or this may happen again…and next time she may not be so lucky…once they are grown up you do not need to supervise them so closely
but a 4 year old child should have been watched, as they do move so quickly.

This was a xmas miracle that the child will be alright….Please get it fenced
now…or it may happen again.

17 Anonymom December 26, 2013 at 9:42 AM

Is there some fantastic reason everyone has to ask if there’s a fence? I’m sure those involved are feeling horrible. A few things though. 4 year olds are fast, independent and it takes less than 30 seconds for a child to drown especially a panicked child in cold water. Prayers to those involved. Mayor an update would be amazing. :)

18 Anon December 26, 2013 at 10:27 AM

“but remember, this was Christmas, ”

No excuse– problems happen 24/7 holiday or not

“Is there some fantastic reason everyone has to ask if there’s a fence?”

YES– because most times a child drowns–it does not have one…..
deal with the reality of it all

19 MadMom December 26, 2013 at 10:30 AM

I didn’t breathe through that story! I pray the child is OK. I’m sure the family has been through the ringer! Blessings to all.

20 Dreamers December 26, 2013 at 10:33 AM

The best solution to the problem is to teach them to swim when they are very young. We have a pool (yes, fenced) and my girls were learning to swim when they were two years old.
I pray the child makes a full recovery.

21 @Mike - thanks for the info! December 26, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Mike – Thanks for the info! I’m still praying for all involved.

At the same time, when a story like this is posted, I think it’s a good opportunity for us to review in our minds what to do should we encounter such a situation.

I will try to impress on my mind 15 compressions/2 breaths for kids; 30/2 for adults.


22 mike December 26, 2013 at 11:34 AM

#14 i took a CPR course 2 months ago it is not only compressions. it is as i stated in comment #13. but you were right saying everyone should be CPR certified.

23 Silva December 26, 2013 at 11:52 AM

No. You can NOT take your eyes off a toddler. Yes. All pools should have a fence with a locked gate. I’m not sure about it, but it seems like I’ve heared there could be liability issues for property owners otherwise. ALL children & adults should learn to stay afloat in water. I spent my early years as the child of a Children’s Hospital employee, and saw all too often the irreversible brain damage after a baby/child spent too long at the bottom of a pool. Hopefully this baby will be just fine!

24 Frank L. December 26, 2013 at 12:00 PM

I grew up with a backyard pool, and we currently have one.

Teaching kids to swim at a very young age (I was 2), and not letting toddlers around the pool is the answer.

I’ve NEVER seen a fence around a residential pool, even though it’s a good idea.

25 Cowellian December 26, 2013 at 12:09 PM
26 ANNONeeemoose December 26, 2013 at 12:16 PM

Mike that goes against 2 different classes I’ve taken in the last year, but if you say so. In fact, everytime they change the protocol I can’t help but think the old way would still work anyway – right? I mean doing something is better than nothing and I’m not going to argue about it. Do it the way you’ve been taught.

ANd people, a 4 year old is NOT a toddler. NOT a toddler. This is a pre-schooler. One honestly that should know better, but things happen and I’m not going to judge the adults, but a 4 year old – honestly speaking – SHOULD know how to swim. In CA where 1/2 the people have pools or are near a body of water. Learn to swim early is key. It’s not just a luxury, as we’ve seen in this case it could’ve been the difference between life and death – or worse, vegetative. :(

27 J. December 26, 2013 at 12:19 PM

@Frank L.

I’ve never seen a residential pool without a fenced in yard.

28 ANNONeeemoose December 26, 2013 at 12:19 PM

Oh, just looked it up… and my classes obviously didn’t tell the whole story. Compression only is for cardiac, sudden collapse and seems generally accepted for most reasons, BUT not drowning… and not for kids

That is because in a sudden cardiac collapse your blood is already oxygenated, and in a drowning , not…

29 Anon2you December 26, 2013 at 1:09 PM

So happy the child OK, hopefully makes a full recovery…Christmas will not be a tragic event for this family but a miraculous one! Merry Christmas!

30 peaches December 27, 2013 at 11:22 AM

Thank God the child is ok. I saved a little toddler from drowning one summer, No one heard a sound. I just happened to look around for the little guy. I have to say, though, I have never seen a pool with a fence around it in Clayton, Concord or Walnut Creek in all the years I’ ve lived here. Fences are usually around pools in motels, am I right? They may have been visiting a friend with a pool. I’m assuming there was no fence to block the little guy. People don’t always teach their children to swim when they are from, say, from Iowa. Relatives visit California during xmas.

31 Silva December 27, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Yeah, probably no water in Iowa.

32 Big Fred December 27, 2013 at 4:31 PM

@ J. –
I belive Frank is referring to a fence enclosing the pool area, not the yard. Obviously most houses have fenced in yards, especially around here, but I agree with Frank in saying that the majority of home owners I know, who have pools, do not have fences. That being said, they are usually recently put in when the kids are old enough to be trusted and know how to swim on their own. Still a good idea though, no harm in being careful, but there is harm in being careless.

33 Carol December 28, 2013 at 6:31 PM

I agree with most everyone here that a toddler should be watched all the time no matter what the situation is. They are the parents responsibility. If they were at a friends house then they definitely there should have been no excuse why the parents shouldn’t of been watch the kid. If they were home then they should of had a fence that was pad locked and locked every time someone left the pool area.

34 Antler January 1, 2014 at 12:40 AM

Mayor, since a whole week has passed since this happened, is there a way you can find out whether the child has recovered? (Pneumonia is one potential complication even when a person is pulled alive from the water after such an incident.) Perhaps police would ask the parents to release a statement to you?

J. at #27…… I’m like you in always having seen pools with an yard-perimeter fence 6 feet high PLUS a fence around the pool -pavement skirt itself, and the latter fences are usually lower…about 4 feet tall. Is there not some sort of code? Something like: to pass a city permit inspection following pool installation, such a fence MUST be there?

With a 4-foot fence, I would still worry because it only takes a few seconds for a four-year-old to drag a chair to the fence, climb up in it, and then finish climbing over the fence. (Some of my summer jobs were as swimming instructor and life guard, and that training gives one the habit of constantly scanning for potential danger around water…..sorry, can’t help it.)

35 Pro Fi January 1, 2014 at 1:21 AM

Antler – KTVU reported the little boy was doing fine:

So happy the family are all doing well. Turns out the little guy was just looking for a place to play outside.

36 Antler January 1, 2014 at 7:27 AM

Pro Fi at #35 ……. That’s a BEAUTIFUL outcome (and lovely coverage of the story, too). Thank you so very much for giving the link!

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