Viral video of 2-year-old climbing pool ladder serves as warning for parents

ATTLEBORO, Massachusetts -- Pools can be very dangerous for young children, and a video making waves around the internet is serving as a warning for parents.

The video shows a 2-year-old boy climbing the outside of a locked pool ladder. He was able to almost get all the way to the top before his mom took him down.

Little Cody's parents thought the ladder was safe.

"As far as I'm concerned, no ladder is safe," dad Keith Wyman said.

The ladder was locked, covering the steps. But Cody, who is as energetic as they come, was able to grab onto the slits in the door and pull himself up.

His dad said he couldn't believe what he was seeing.

"My heart dropped," Wyman said.

Cody climbed the closed ladder once before. When he tried a second time, his parents made the recording to send a message.

"You could do all these things, safety precautions, but your eyes, you have to keep them on them at all times," mom Tonya Sostre said. "You think you're safe, and it's not the case. Because it's not safe."

The family returned the ladder, but all the other designs were similar. They are reaching out to the manufacturer to push for a design change.

Tom Brino, of Pool Safety Systems, specializes in removable safety fences and winter safety covers. He emphasized that the most important deterrent is a physical barrier surrounding the pool area, saying 99 percent of accidents can be avoided just by having a good fence and/or safety cover.

The fencing his company installs is a mesh that is so fine, it is both transparent (for good visibility around the pool area) and almost impossible for a child to climb by virtue of the small spacing between threads. He said that it would be akin to climbing a vertical trampoline.

A good safety cover is also important when the pool is closed for the season, and Brino says it should be able to support the weight of a child or an adult if he/she were to walk on it. Other safety gear includes alarms that can detect if someone has entered the water, but the physical barriers should prevent that from happening in the first place.

Another thing to remember is to stay vigilant around children in a pool area, and this means being able to clearly see to the bottom of the pool at all times. You should always be facing the pool and never depend on your hearing. Smaller children can make surprisingly little noise if they enter the water, and ears are no replacement for eyes.

According to the USA Swimming Foundation, between Memorial Day and Labor Day 2017, 163 children drowned in swimming pools.

For more tips on pool safety, watch the segment below.
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Jeff Smith reports on pool safety.

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