Child Suffers Injuries in Drowning Incident in Winter Haven Pond

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Florida weather permits swimming and other water-related activities almost all year long. However, that only means that parents need to constantly educate their children on the dangers of water. Recently, Samuel Baker, 2, almost drowned in Polk County after the toddler was found floating in a pond. The child was hospitalized in Winter Haven and last reported to be in critical condition.

Samuel was visiting his godparents Melissa Mechile Simmons, 41, and Sainville Diga, 54, both of Winter Haven, when the incident occurred. According to the police report, Simmons told authorities she and her boyfriend, Diga, were sitting at home with the front door open. Samuel was sitting on the front steps while Simmons watched him from the couch. Simmons then got up to retrieve some dish soap from the kitchen and when she returned Samuel was gone. Simmons and Diga immediately began to search the area around their home when Simmons found one of Samuel’s flip-flops in the pond directly behind their home. After she found the flip-flop, she immediately called 9-1-1. Diga retrieved Samuel from the pond, who was found floating face down, and performed CPR on the child until authorities arrived. Samuel was transported to Winter Haven Hospital Emergency Room where doctors determined his conditional was so critical that he needed to be airlifted to All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg. The Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the incident. If you would like to read more on this story please see 2-year-old boy in critical condition after almost drowning in Winter Haven pond.

This incident is a tragedy for Samuel’s family and community. A key component to maintaining a child’s safety is constant supervision. It only takes mere seconds for a child to wander off and sustain serious personal injuries or death. Constantly keep an eye on your children, whether he or she is around water, on the playground or just playing around the house. Supervision is key to protecting your child from harm.