Valley Children's teaches kids about water safety awareness

As temperatures rise in the Valley, so do the number of water-related injuries.

So far this year, three children under the age of five have died from accidents involving water.

On Friday, Valley Children's brought its annual May Day Summer Safety Fair and Drowning Prevention Program to Downtown Fresno's Chukchansi Park - a last chance for kids to pick up safety tips before school lets out for the summer.

"The number one reason why kids die that are under five years old is from water-related injury, even more than a car crash," says Mary Jo Quintero of Valley Children's Healthcare.

And it doesn't take much water for a small child to drown.

Earlier this year a Valley toddler died after putting their head in a bucket with one inch of standing water.

"A small child is very curious and they peer into a bucket...they look into the bucket. They're top heavy and they fall in and they can't get back out," Quintero said.

Local law enforcement agencies and other first responders, along with Valley Children's doctors and staff, made up the 60 or so interactive teaching exhibits in the stadium's concourse -- including a live water safety demonstration at the ballpark's pool in center field.

"Water is a really fun thing but there are really dangerous parts of it too like swimming pools like canals like pondering basins like certain rivers," Quintero said.

As part of Friday's safety awareness, the Water Safety Council also announced they will pay for swim lessons for kids in Fresno and Kerman this summer.
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