Emeline Grier Miller, the 19-month-old daughter of Olympic gold medal skier Bode Miller, died in a swimming pool accident the evening of June 9. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the incident occurred when Miller and his wife, Morgan, were at a neighbor’s home for a pool party. According to reports, Emeline somehow ended up in the water. First responders arrived at the scene and administered CPR before transporting the child to an area hospital where she died.
Miller and his wife posted an image of Emeline on Instagram along with a heartbreaking message. “Never in a million years did we think we could experience a pain like this,” the post said. Miller is a six-time Olympic medalist in skiing. He last competed in the 2014 Olympics. Details of how this tragedy occurred are not available.
We offer our deepest condolences to the Miller family for their tragic loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Catastrophic Injuries and Fatalities
According to the California Department of Developmental Services, drowning is a leading cause of injury-related deaths among children under the age of 5. Each year, near-drowning incidents result in life-long disabilities. In the year 2016, alone 31 swimming pool drowning deaths were reported in California. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger.
For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries. More than 50 percent of drowning victims treated in hospital emergency departments require hospitalization or transfer for further care. These nonfatal drowning injuries can cause severe brain damage that may result in long-term disabilities such as memory problems, learning disabilities, and permanent loss of basic functioning.
Preventing These Tragedies
With summer in full swing in Southern California, it is important that we all take a moment to practice safety in and around the water, especially with little ones around. The death of Emeline Miller is yet another sad reminder that danger lurks in our own backyards. Nothing replaces constant parental supervision. It takes a child just a few seconds to fall into the pool and slip underwater. If you have a pool at home, make sure it is gated and fenced and that you have alarms installed in the pool area to warn you about any unexpected activity poolside.