Six months after a five-year-old boy drowned in a pond near École Dundonald School, the provincial coroner has released recommendations for improved safety.
The report confirms Ahmedsadiq Hussein Elmmi died at Royal University Hospital on Sept. 11, 2017 from drowning and the death was deemed accidental.
The coroner made a number of recommendations, with many directed toward school officials and the City of Saskatoon.
Five suggestions were made to both the public and Catholic school boards, including reviewing recess supervision and assessing the possibility of increased supervision near dangerous areas like ponds and busy roads.
The report also recommends the school boards review their staff communication policies on conveying the care requirements of special needs children.
Friends of the Elmmi family told 650 CKOM in September the child had autism, but it was unclear what supervision had been put in place.
Other suggestions include increasing water safety education for students, considering the placement of future ponds away from schools and assessing the needs for barriers around existing ponds near schools.
The coroner’s office added there wouldn’t be an inquest into the death.
Council to review city pond report
The city said Wednesday an internal review of its 30 storm ponds has covered the coroner’s concerns as they pertain to administration.
Angela Gardiner, the acting general manager of transportation and utilities, says the city has already recommended a partial fence around the Dundonald pond.
“This is essentially to separate the activities of the schools to the public’s use of the ponds and pathways,” she said.
For future planning, the report recommends placing all storm ponds a safe distance from schools unless separated by a barrier — such as roads or developments.
“On a case-by-case basis, if we can’t address that distance or proximity, then we would be looking at some kind of a fence.”
Gardiner noted a pond in Lakeview was looked at closely for possibly fencing, however, there is a greater distance from the nearby school and about 75 per cent of the pond’s perimeter is bordered by homes.
The city report goes to council on April 30.
— With files from 650 CKOM’s Daniella Ponticelli.