A 2-year-old boy last weekend became the 13th person to drown this year in Orange County, prompting authorities to remind the public how to keep children – and adults – safe near the water.
Experts warn that once a child falls into a pool, swallows water and can’t breathe, they also won’t be able to yell for help – making drowning a silent killer.
“We all know what happens when you start to panic. You lose control of your body. You can’t kick. You can’t get your head above water and then it’s a domino effect. It's life or death,” said Tina Dittmar, the aquatics supervisor for the city of Laguna Niguel.
To prevent someone from drowning, Dittmar recommends:
- Hiring a lifeguard for home pool parties.
- Keeping a landline near the pool so police can immediately know your location if 911 is called.
- Learning proper rescue techniques, such as CPR and first aid.
- Designate “water watcher.”
- Keep floatation devices near the water.
A toddler drowned July 13 at a backyard pool party in Yorba Linda attended by at least 100 people, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
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Not a single one of the 100 invited party-goers heard the 2-year-old fall in, but they noticed him unconscious in the pool and called authorities just before 7 p.m., said Lt. Colin Murphy of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
The boy was rushed to Placentia-Linda Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
“He was probably under water two minutes,” said Kris Concepcion, a Battalion Chief with the Orange County Fire Authority. “They were doing CPR by the time we arrived.”
Last year in Orange County, there were 26 drownings between Jan. 1 and July 9, according to the Orange County Register citing data from the Orange County Fire Authority. That’s twice as many as there have been in the same period this year.
So far this year, drownings in OC are at a five-year low, the newspaper reports.
City News Service contributed to this report.
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