Family bids farewell to toddler who died in pool tragedy in Dubai

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Dubai - Neiza was admitted to a hospital's intensive care unit late on Friday, but breathed her last at noon on Saturday.

By Sami Ha Zen

Published: Mon 26 Aug 2019, 9:32 PM

Over 100 people on Sunday attended the funeral prayers for the two-year-old girl who drowned in the pool of a family villa in Mirdif. Rites were held at Al Quoz Cemetery mosque.
Toddler Neiza Shujain had slipped outside their house through the open doors and eventually fell into the pool. Her parents were alerted by the girl's four-year-old sister who rushed into the pool and rescued the child.
Neiza was admitted to a hospital's intensive care unit late on Friday, but breathed her last at noon on Saturday.
Imtiyaz, a close relative of the Indian family hailing from Valapatttanam in the south Indian state of Kerala, said the relatives were all trying to console the young parents struck by the tragedy.
"All that is left to do now is pray for the departed soul and hold the family close. Most of our family members are here in the UAE, and I hope we will able to ease their pain," said Imtiyaz, who also attended the funeral prayers.
"Neiza was pulled out of the water immediately and rushed to the hospital. The parents are devastated and inconsolable," said Shahid, another relative.
Naseer Vatanappally, the social worker who assisted the family with the legal procedures, couldn't find the words to comfort the family.
"The incident happened on Friday night at a villa in Mirdif. The parents were inside the house but the door was slightly open. The girl was able to sneak out and go to the pool," said Vatanappally.
Vatanappally said the father was able to flush out water from the baby's body, and the ambulance immediately arrived and rushed the baby to the Latifa Hospital.
Neiza was laid to rest at Al Quoz Cemetery after Asr prayers on Sunday.
Fences must at pools with no lifeguards
A person could drown in as little as half an inch of water, said a pool safety expert in Dubai.
John Fish, partner at Baby Secure, said there is a need to build a swimming pool safety culture in the emirate, as more familes are opting to live in villas or apartments with pool facilities.
"It's like the car seatbelt or car child seat rule. Tightened rules have made people realise the importance of child seats in vehicles.
"The rule here is that pool fencing is required in any pool without lifeguards, but most people are not aware of it. Some people don't like fencing their pools because it doesn't look cool enough. But, then, you will have to pay the price," he added.

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