San Diego

Family Preaching Child Pool Prep After Toddler's Drowning

The family of a 2-year-old girl who drowned in a backyard swimming pool in Oceanside is turning the tragedy into a message for other parents.

Kendall Blanc drowned at her grandparent’s pool on Saturday off Moreno Street, near Cassidy Street and Interstate 5.

The family said they were getting ready to go to Fiesta Island for the day when they lost sight of Kendall. She was later found in the pool.

Kendall’s family gave her CPR until paramedics arrived. She was rushed to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Brad Hurvitz, a swim instructor in La Jolla and family friend to the Blancs, was devastated to hear about the tragic loss.

“As a father it’s just unfathomable that it could happen and what it does to families it’s tragic,” the father to two girls said. “I just hope I can get as many kids in the water as possible to make sure they have the skills necessary to save their own life if that ever were to occur.”

Hurvitz knows first-hand how challenging it can be to always know where children are playing.

“As parents it’s always hard to have your eyes always on your children. What scares me the most are situations like parties or going over to friends’ houses where there is a pool. Kids get curious and they explore,” he said.

Hurvitz instructs children as young as 6 months and says his own 7-month-old daughter will be starting her lessons soon.

“Swim lessons are not just an activity -- it’s not dance class, it’s not ‘When I have time.’ It’s absolutely necessary to make sure your child knows how to save their life,” he said. “Drowning is the leading cause of death in kids under 5; that’s scares me senseless as a father. I want to make sure my kids know what to do if they ever find themselves alone in the water at any point.”

Claire Fleming has been taking her 14-month-old daughter Waverly to Hurvitz’s lessons for the last five weeks.

“It’s hard you see her going under water and you want to instinctually go in and grab her, but we want her to be a water baby,” said Fleming. “We feel so confident and comfortable having her near and around the water now. We were at the pool the other day and she wants to float! She arches her back, leans back to show off her floating skills.”

Fleming also felt awful to hear about Kendall’s death over the weekend.

“It’s horrible, and if she (Waverly) were, worst case scenario, to fall in, then she would be able to save herself now,” she said.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Kendall’s family with funeral expenses. For more information on swimming lessons with Hurvitz, click here. You can also reach out to @mybabyswims on social media for questions.

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