Pool safety a matter of life and death

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SARASOTA - An 18 month old toddler who was found unconscious in a Sarasota pool this weekend is doing better, according to the child's mother.  Erin Hill told ABC 7 her son is in stable condition after nearly drowning.  The incident serves as a reminder to other parents about pool safety, and now many people are looking for tips to help prevent a similar situation from happening to their family.

"For people with children, it's their number one priority," said Michael Kamkar of Unique Pools and Design, talking about pool safety.  "They absolutely dread having a pool not knowing if it's safe enough for their children to still go into their backyard and play," added Kamkar.

Pool safety has taken center stage in the last few days after the near downing, which occurred at a home on 4200 block of Berkshire Drive in the Lake Sarasota neighborhood.

Officials say an 18-month-old child was found unconscious in a pool after being out of his parent's sight for just a few moments.  That's a situation Kamkar says state lawmakers have been working to prevent.   "Florida has a statue that either a baby barrier or an alarm must be installed in all the newer pools, so they are no options.  The county will not issue a permit."

Baby barriers look like a nylon fence that lock in place and surround a pool. Other residents use pool alarms that sounds anytime anyone is in the pool area. 

But, older pools like the one involved in this weekend's near downing, have been grandfathered in, so they are not required to install those safety measures nor do they have to follow any safety guideline.

But, Kamkar says many homeowners are still opting to install the safety measures.  "We're getting more and more calls saying that they've seen a barrier on older pools and love it and they would like us to go to us and install that," said Kamkar.

He says that about 30% of his business is from people with older pools wanting installing updated safe guards to protect children and the elderly from getting into the water when no one is watching them.