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Pool alarms, fences crucial during summer months

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Posted at 6:29 PM, Jun 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-16 21:29:54-04

As summer quickly approaches, parents across Las Vegas are reminded of a threat that looms in many people's backyards. 

Ellie Gates lost her granddaughter, Clayre, in 2008 when the 13-month-old baby wandered into the backyard and drowned in the family pool. 

"She was fascinated by the water," Gates said. 

Drowning continues to be a leading cause of unintentional death among children in Clark County.

Since Clayre drowned, new regulations have been passed. However, Gates thinks some requirements, like door alarms, aren't completely reliable. 

"People have the tendency to turn them off because if you open the door they go off...and people get annoyed with that," Gates said. 

Alarms that sit in the pool and sound an alert when the surface of the water is broken are also a way to prevent drowning deaths. They cost between $80-$200. 

Safe Kids Clark County said alarms should not be the only precaution parents take. Self-latching gates are strongly recommended and for some homes they're required by law. 

"We want you to create multiple layers of protection to keep that child away from the water," said Jeanne Marsala, Director of Safe Kids. 

Gates said Clayre's father had been saving money to buy a pool fence. She died two weeks before it was going to be installed. 

The family now helps others afford pool fences through Clayre's Pool-Fence Fund Foundation.