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Midvale girl dies days after found unconscious in family pool

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Posted at 1:08 PM, Jun 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-08 11:14:22-04

UPDATE:  Unified Police confirmed 2-year-old Suzie Suhaka passed away Tuesday at  10 p.m. with her family by her side. She drowned in the family pool.

Officers said she was found face-down in the family pool two days ago and was taken off life support overnight.


MIDVALE, Utah — A 2-year-old Midvale is in critical condition and on life support after nearly drowning in her family’s new above-ground swimming pool Monday night.

According to a news release from the Unified Police Department, it appears the girl sneaked outside after her family had come in for the night.

“She was able to climb the ladder into the pool and was found unconscious and not breathing after being missing for only a few minutes,” the news release said.

The girl was taken by helicopter to Primary Children’s Medical Center for treatment. The Unified Police Department offered the following water safety tips to help prevent such incidents:

Now that the warm weather has arrived and most of our kids are out of school, the number of drownings and near drownings goes up sharply for emergency responders. The Unified Police Department (UPD) would like to remind everyone of some basic water safety rules for your toddlers and even your big kids.

Toddlers (age 1-4): Some of these may seem obvious and basic, but a little reminder never hurts.

1. Keep toilet lids closed and use toilet seat locks if you have a very curious toddler. Also keep doors to bathrooms and laundry rooms closed. Most children vulnerable to drowning in a toilet are too short to open doors.

2. NEVER leave your child unattended around water. Babies can drown in as little as one inch of water.

3. Private Swimming Pools: In-ground pools should have a four foot fence with a locking or self-latching gate around them. Above ground pools should have a removable ladder or removable steps so that the child can’t climb into it on their own.

4. Learn CPR. Knowing what to do in the case of an emergency is very important and can save lives.

5. Teach kids never to go near or in water without an adult present. Having floatation devices can give you a false sense of security. Nothing is fail proof and those water wings can slip off.

6. Be alert at public pools. Even though there is a lifeguard present, don’t assume that he/she is watching your child.

7. Empty all tubs, containers, buckets, play pools, wading pools and water-slides immediately after use. Also, story them upside down and out of reach of children so that they cannot re-fill with water.

8. Enroll your child in swimming lessons if at all possible. Teach them how to tread water and float.

Big Kids (age 5-16):

1. Install door and/or window alarms to alert you to the opening of a door or window leading to the pool area. (Can also come in handy if you have a child who likes to sneak out ;) )

2. Always have children swim with a partner, no matter where you are. That way there will always be someone to call for help or immediately notice if something is wrong.

3. Make sure your home pool or spa has a proper drain cover or shut-off function to prevent long hair, loose clothing or body parts from getting trapped.