Toddler saves himself from drowning (includes video story)

A two-year-old boy from Royal Palm Beach knew exactly what to do earlier this week in order to save himself from a near-drowning experience. 

The toddler’s mother, Tracey Siegel, said their home was undergoing renovations that caused the pool fence to be removed. The boy’s older brother left the door open and that’s when Kyle, the toddler, walked out and into the water.

“I know what could’ve happened,” said Tracey Siegel. “That’s when I get emotional, like I realize how bad it could have been. I mean, if we hadn’t heard the splash and he hadn’t had swim lessons, I don’t know if he’d be here.”

But Tracey was caught by surprise after witnessing what happened next. “We saw Kyle float to the top, roll on his back and swim to the edge of the pool and get out, himself fully clothed.”

Toni Ann Capanelli, who had been teaching Kyle, is a certified infant resource instructor. She has taught hundreds of babies to swim and float at her swim school in Royal Palm Beach. 

“We teach lessons through sensory motor and through water levels in the water and through touch,” said Ann Capanelli. “Due to COVID and everything, he was out of lessons for quite a while. He came back to me for about four lessons. It’s about a year’s lapse, and he still maintained the skills he was taught the year prior.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, unintentional drowning is among the leading causes of death for children under age four.

Due to this, Ann Capanelli suggests learning to swim is essential for young kids. All it takes is repetition and commitment from parents and children… like the Siegel family. 

Zitlali Solache is a student in Florida International University, pursuing her Masters degree in Spanish-Language Broadcast Journalism. Zitlali Solache is Mexican American and has a passion for storytelling and news. She has interned for WPBT PBS, WSVN Channel 7 and STEP Univision. After graduation, Zitlali aspires to become a reporter/anchor in her hometown Miami, FL.