Along with festivals and barbecues, the beginning of summer also often brings with it more somber news: reports of small children drowning in backyard pools, often with parents standing not too far away.
There have been at least four drownings and near-drownings involving infants and toddlers in the Sacramento area this past week. A 14-month-old Saturday. In two separate Elk Grove accidents, a toddler and an infant barely survived after being submerged in water—one in a , the other in a bathtub.
Two-thirds of drowning deaths nationwide occur between May and August, according to the nonprofit Safe Kids USA—and they can happen fast.
"It doesn't take long to get into trouble in a pool," Cosumnes Fire Chief Tracey Hansen told Patch Friday.
Local emergency responders offer these tips to keep your kids safe:
- Never leave children unattended around water.
- Teach kids to swim at a young age.
- Fence off swimming pool areas, and place alarms on doors leading to them. Add an extra fence around the pool itself to keep small children out.
- Make sure children wear life jackets in and near water—even if they know how to swim. Armband "floaties" are not enough.
- If you can't afford life jackets, several area fire departments—including the Roseville Fire Department, the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire Department and the Cosumnes Fire Department—lend them out for free.
Do you own a pool? Is it fenced off? Tell us in the comments.