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Toddlers drown in I.E. swimming pools

July 9, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Summer fun has turned to tragedy after two toddlers drowned in swimming pools in recent weeks in San Bernardino and Riverside counties, where there have also been five near-drownings. The fire and police departments of the city of Redlands released a public service DVD Thursday alerting parents of the dangers of family pools.

"For the last couple of months we've had about 14 kids come through the hospital and we've had a couple of deaths," said Kim Patrick of Safe Kids. "We don't know if people are getting lax in their protective measures or people aren't listening to the messages -- we're not quite sure. We need to get the message out that parents need to be very vigilant with their children when they're around water."

One important provision measure is teaching the children to swim at a young age. Learning to swim will earn respect for the water.

"(My son) needs to know what to do when he's in the water," said Marina Slaughter. "He needs to be, you know, feel safe. He needs to have swimming lessons so he can really be aware of the dangers in the water."

Experts stress the importance of active supervision, which includes being in the water with small children, as well as having barriers around the pool and learning CPR.

"Importantly is CPR and we know the sooner CPR is initiated the greater chance that child has of survival, and survival without impairment," Patrick said.

The message from child safety experts hasn't changed over the years: They say swimming pool accidents are 100 percent preventable.

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