No one expects a birthday party for a 1-year-old to turn into a nightmare, but this was the case for the parents of a four-year-old at a party in Columbus, Ohio.
As parents and other children turned their attention away from the pool to sing “Happy Birthday” to the toddler, a young girl, Sinaia Moore, slipped into the pool unnoticed. She was unable to keep herself afloat, and subsequently drowned.
Other adults at the party did not notice the four-year-old’s body at the bottom of the pool until the song was over. They tried desperately to revive her using CPR, but were unsuccessful. The paramedics and medical professionals at a local hospital could not revive her either, and she was pronounced dead at 7 p.m. that evening.
Columbus police told officials that they believe the drowning was situational, and did not happen as a result of inattentiveness or negligence on the part of the girl’s family members, or other guests at the party.
When family members were questioned, they stated that they thought she had gone inside the house, or was playing on a trampoline. They had no idea she had head back to the pool. In fact, only 30% of children who drown were expected to be anywhere near the pool, or in it, at the time.
This incident sheds light on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s report that drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in children ages one to four. Even two inches of water can be fatal to a child, according to the New York State Department of Health, and drowning can happen within seconds. The CPSC’s findings have also been highlighted in a recent incident in which one woman almost lost her son to drowning after turning her back to the pool for just a few seconds.
Moore had apparently gone into the pool earlier in the day wearing a protective flotation vest, but re-entered the pool without one. The water was four feet deep.