Near drownings on the rise

Drowning is a leading cause of death among kids in California. This year, the number of water-related accidents is on the rise.
March 7, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
Drowning is a leading cause of death among kids under five years old in California. This year, the number of water-related accidents is on the rise. Our mild winter weather may be contributing to an unsettling spike in swimming pool accidents.

Children's Hospital Central California water safety coordinator Mary Jo Quintero said incidents are up 300 percent from last year.

"What we're really concerned with is usually this time from January until March we may have one or two water-related injuries. This year we've already had seven with one fatality," she said.

Kids should stay away from waterways and canals which run through some neighborhoods. Most of the near drownings this year occurred at home.

"Five of the seven were in a swimming pool and the other was in a pond. The other was in a bucket," Quintero explained.

American Ambulance would like to remind you that life jackets should fit kids correctly and not extend above their heads. Mike Estrada of the STAR team said water safety begins with parents.

"Obviously adult supervision is key," he said. "I think as long as you're watching them you know where they're at. I know it gets tough when you've got multiple children, and you have to keep your eyes on four different spots."

In January, a 48-year-old Fresno woman was arrested for child endangerment after her 2-year-old grandson nearly drowned in a fountain.

"More often than not they're probably preventable accidents," said Estrada.

To help Children's Hospital get the water safety message out, Kohl's donated $95,533.00 to the program.


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