Children Shocked In Electrically Charged Pools

Children Shocked In Electrically Charged Pools

In terrifying just-released surveillance video a swimming pool became an electrified death trap when a little girl touched a metal railing and instantly went limp. When her dad touched the railing, he got zapped, but somehow managed to grab his daughter and yank her out of the water.  

There was another little girl floating lifeless underwater. In the video, the girl's grandfather rushed in to drag her from the electrified water.

The girl's devastated mother called 911 to report the emergency.

911 operator: "911, what is your emergency?"

Caller: "My daughter! Can you please send an ambulance, please!"

911 operator: "Tell me exactly what happened."

Caller: "I don't know, she was in the pool with my dad. They say there was something in the water."

It happened at an apartment complex in Hialeah, Florida, and the frightening video is coming to light just as swimming pools are opening for the Memorial Day Weekend.

A grieving father, Chris Sloan, knows too well the dangers of this invisible danger. His seven-year-old son, Calder, was killed by an electrical shock while swimming in his backyard pool just last month.  

Chris said, “The electrical field paralyzes you and you start shaking. He just screamed and was jolted into the air and thrown down to the bottom of the water."

Calder was an energetic little boy who called himself "Mr. Awesome.” Celebrities and other people across the nation posed with Calder's picture as a tribute to him on social media.   

Chris showed INSIDE EDITION the pool where the tragic accident happened. It's almost empty now, exposing a badly corroded pool light.

"Go look at your pool light and if it is corroded, there is probably something going on. There is something corroding it for a reason. That was probably many, many months of something corroding it."

Investigators believe the defective light allowed a surge of electricity into the water that electrocuted Calder.

The electrified swimming pool in the surveillance video is just a few miles from the pool where Calder died. Three children were hospitalized, but they're all okay now.

Now, Chris wants to warn everyone going near a pool this weekend about a danger you'd never expect to find, saying, “I had unfathomably tragic consequences for our family and many, many people. That is real, man, that is there.”

Safety Tips For Preventing Electrocutions In and Around the Pool
Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

-Know where all the electrical switches and circuit breakers for pool equipment and lights are located and how to turn them off in an emergency.
-Refrain from swimming before, during, or after thunderstorms.
-Have an electrician who is qualified in pool and spa repairs inspect and upgrade your pool, spa or hot tub in accordance with applicable local codes and the National Electrical Code (NEC).
-Ensure that all electrical wires and junction boxes are at least five feet away from water, as required by the NEC.
-Protect swimmers from injury by following the NEC requirements for installing Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupters (GFCIs):
 -On underwater lighting circuits operating at 120-volts (CPSC recommends GFCIs for circuits that are 15 volts or greater);
-On pumps and electrical equipment used with pools, spas and hot tubs, including heaters close to the pool and operated on 240 volt circuits;
-On electrical circuits around pools, spas, and hot tubs;
-On all outdoor receptacles and receptacles within 20 feet of the water's edge to protect people from injury.
-Test GFCIs monthly to assure continued protection. Infrequently used and portable or cord-connected GFCIs should be tested before each day's use. To test a GFCI:
-Plug a nightlight into the outlet and turn the nightlight on.
-Press the "TEST" button. Did the light go out? If not, replace the GFCI or have it inspected by an electrician.
-Press the "RESET" button. Did the light come back on? If not, replace the GFCI.
-Wear shoes while conducting the test, especially if outdoors or standing on wet ground.
-Use battery-operated appliances instead of cord-connected appliances in and around a pool, spa, or hot tub.
-Post an emergency plan within clear view of those using the pool.
-Ensure that overhead power lines and junction boxes are safely positioned when installing a new pool, hot tub or spa.
In an emergency, the American Red Cross recommends turning off all power; using a fiberglass hook to carefully remove the victim(s) from the water; administering CPR; and calling 911.

For more information about electrical safety around pools, hot tubs or spas, consumers should contact CPSC at (800) 638-2772 or Consumers also can view our publications, "Don't Swim With Shocks – Electrical Safety In and Around Pools, Hot Tubs and Spas," (pdf) and "Install Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter Protection for Pools, Spas and Hot Tubs."