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A child can drown in just two inches of water, experts warn 


July 20, 2011 (El Cajon) -- “In the past two weeks, there have been two drownings in our City, both involving children 2 years of age and under,” said Monica Zech, spokesperson for El Cajon. “There have been a total of five drownings in the County this year.”


El Cajon Fire, Police and Recreation Department, along with Rady Children’s Hospital teamed up to offer an urgent summer reminder on water safety for parents and caregivers.  During a press conference yesterday at the Fletcher Hills Pool, experts offered the following safety tips.


Safety experts say it takes less than two inches of water and a few seconds for a small child to drown. To keep your children safe, experts offer the following advice.


As your baby starts walking, lack of mobility and coordination puts them at risk of falling into water, including toilets, bathtubs, buckets of water, plastic wading pools, swimming pools, spas and ponds. By eliminating potential hazards you can help keep your baby safe in and around water, in and outside the home. Proper supervision is key in preventing many of the 9-1-1 drowning calls received by our paramedic-firefighters.


Make sure your pool has four-sided fencing and a self-closing, self-latching gate to prevent a child from wandering into the pool area unsupervised. In addition, hot tubs should be covered and locked when not in use. Install a door alarm, a window alarm or both to alert you if a child wanders into the pool area unsupervised. From the start, teach children to never go near or in water without an adult present, and learn CPR.

Speakers at the event included Paramedic-Firefighter for Heartland Fire & Rescue in El Cajon, Sue Cox, R.N., Rady Children’s Trauma Services Director, Jym Bridger, and Barbara LaRussa, Head Guard/ Swim Instructor for the El Cajon Recreation Department. La Russa also demonstrated safety tips and emphasized the importance of teaching all children how to swim.

Pool and water safety displays were presented by Mary Ann Downing with the National Drowning Prevention Alliance, and a representative from the San Diego Chapter of Independent Pool & Spa Service Association (IPSSA), with their Water Watcher program information.


On June 29, a 21-month-old boy drowned in a spa. On July 9, a 2-year-old boy drowned in a backyard above-ground pool, both in El Cajon.


Experts emphasized the importance of never leaving youngsters unsupervised around water and urged parents and caregivers to learn cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in case of emergency.

A special safety video involving pools is available to see free online at www.ndpa.org - called Simple Steps to a Safer Pool.


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