A little after 10 PM on Saturday, June 19 the residents of a Jacksonville home found their neighbor’s children, ages 3 and 6, unresponsive in their pool. The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department transported the children to a nearby hospital where they were pronounced dead. The children were later identified by the Sheriff’s Office as Gerard Chinonso Ibeagwa, 6, and Blessing Chinonyesen Ibeagwa, 3.
The home with the pool is located on the 2600 block on Sunrise Ridge Lane, surrounded by a privacy fence and has a security sign on the gate.
The Florida Department of Children and Families is investigating the case for the presence of neglect, said the agency’s spokesman John Harrell. DCF investigators are trying to determine whether the children had been left alone, and if so, for how long. To read more about this accident see Two children drown day before Father’s Day in Arlington home.
Drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages 1-4. During the summer months backyard or community pools and area beaches are visited more often by children. Parents, caretakers and babysitters should protect children from water-related injuries. Inform children of the dangers about water, keep an eye on children at ALL times, NEVER leave a child unattended in a body of water and teach them how to swim are just some basic safety methods parents and caretakers can use to protect their children. To see more water safety tips see Importance of Water Safety for Children – Tips for Parents, Camp Counselors, Teachers, Day Care Providers and Others.