The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is investigating after a child drowned in an apartment complex pool on Saturday night.
Multiple neighbors have told News4JAX that the boy had autism.
The doctor we talked to said unfortunately, children with autism are drawn to water, so incidences like these are not rare. He said it’s important to never let your child out of your site if they’re playing near water.
According to JSO, a little boy was playing in a park near a pool with family members Saturday night at the River City Place apartment complex.
He was later found unconscious in the pool.
JSO said the park was separated from the pool by a fence, and it’s unclear how the boy wandered over there.
JSO was told by neighbors the boy had autism.
In children with autism, the chance of drowning is 160 times higher.
Dr. David Childers, the Executive Director of the UF Autism Center said children with autism are drawn to water.
In the US, drowning is the number one cause of death for children with autism. There’s something about the sensation of water that they just are attracted to,” said Childers.
Childers said 4 children with autism in the past year have died from drowning in Jacksonville.
Childers said that parents with small children, especially those with children with autism, should always have the child near them.
“I think the first is you can never turn your back. We talked briefly earlier, the baby swim classes are actually not swim classes, they’re drown proofing. And as long as you understand that, they’re great. But, too many parents think they’re really swim lessons, and they can increase the rate of drowning, because it increases over competence,” said Childers.
Officers said they’re working to find surveillance video to see exactly what happened, and also trying to talk to residents and family members as well.
Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4JAX – All rights reserved.