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3-year-old girl drowns in Clay County pool

A child pulled from a pool at a home in Keystone Heights was taken to Shands ER in Starke, then transferred to UF Shands in Gainesville.
A child pulled from a pool at a home in Keystone Heights was taken to Shands ER in Starke, then transferred to UF Shands in Gainesville. (Jud Hulon/WJXT)

A 3-year-old girl died two weeks ago after she was found unresponsive in her family’s swimming pool, according to the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Clay County deputies said the child was pulled from an above-ground pool at a home off State Road 16 west of Penny Farms. She was given CPR until rescue personnel arrived and took her to Shands Hospital in Starke, then she was transported to UF Shands in Gainesville.

According to the preliminary Clay County investigative report, adults were working on the deck and were about 20 feet away from the pool and didn’t hear any splashing and were alerted to the girl in the pool until other children came running out of the house looking for her.

DCF and the Clay County Sheriff’s Office homicide unit are both investigating, which is standard procedure in an accidental drowning.

This was the third child to drown in Northeast Florida this year. A 2-year-old child drowned in an above-ground pool in Nassau County in June and a 5-year-old was found face down in a bathtub in Alachua County in January.

Florida loses more children under the age of 5 to drowning than any other state in the nation.