Separate Near-Drownings Leave Two OC Toddlers in Critical Condition

Two toddlers were in critical condition from separate but similar near-drownings in Orange County backyard pools, a county fire captain said Sunday.

A 20-month-old boy in the Cowan Heights community of unincorporated Tustin wandered out to his backyard through a sliding glass door and was found by his 7-year-old sister floating in the backyard pool at about 6:15 p.m. Saturday, Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi said.

The boy's parents pulled him out of the pool, as the father performed CPR and the mother called 911, Concialdi said. Arriving paramedics began advanced lifesaving measures and were able to get the child's heart rate back. They rushed him in critical condition to a hospital, he said.

Later, at about 6:45 p.m. Saturday in Placentia, firefighters were dispatched to a home where a 17-month-old girl was found floating in a backyard pool during a large family gathering, Concialdi said.

Paramedics rushed the girl, in critical condition, to Children's Hospital of Orange County.

Both incidents were preventable but common, Concialdi said. Last year, Orange County first-responders received 85 drowning calls, 41 of which were fatal

"We're one of the leading counties in the nation because of the great weather we have year-round," along with access to pools and beaches, Concialdi said.

He said a common thread in many incidents involving children's near-drownings, including Saturday's, is that "a lot of them happen at the end of the day when parents are busy doing other things."

Concialdi stressed the ABC of drought prevention: Active Supervision, Barriers like fences and Classes that teach children to swim.

"You have to watch the water," he said.

Nevertheless, a recent rise in countywide drownings was attributed not to kids but adults, according to OCFA spokeswoman Kristina Hamm.

“(When) adults often go swimming or surfing alone, emergencies happen and there’s no one to help them,” Hamm told The Orange County Register on Friday.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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