National News

Mother wants to spread awareness after toddler drowns

Posted July 21, 2018 11:47 a.m. EDT

— Ten years ago, Robin Tarr's son, Louie, was just three weeks shy of his second birthday when he drowned in his father's pool.

The 23-month-old was taking a nap with his dad in the living room on July 20, 2008. Louie woke up and unlocked the backdoor, then unlatched the gate around the pool, and fell in.

"After he drowned, his father found a pool turtle in the pool and he thinks he may have been reaching for that and that's how he got in the pool in the first place," Tarr said. "Then after he passed away, turtles kept popping up everywhere."

Tarr carries Louie everywhere; she collects turtle trinkets, his shoes are displayed at the fireplace, and his pictures hold precious memories.

"At this point in my life, I'm at peace and I'm healed and I don't worry what people think about me today but mothers who are just going through it, like the one last week, they're devastated," said Tarr.

Tarr says the public can be awfully cruel to parents of children who drowned.

"It's a lot of guilt already, we don't need other people giving us that guilt," Tarr said.

As summer heats up, she wants to warn parents to never let their guard down when they're near a pool, because tragedy can strike in the blink of an eye.

"Put your phones down, stand right there and be on guard like your child's life depends on it, because it does, your child's life does depend on it."

Tarr recommends testing your children with locks or latches to see what they're capable of doing.

"Look at what's around, pay attention to how they're getting into things. If you don't think they'll do it, stand there, test them, see."