By Mary O’KEEFE
Two young children became near drowning victims within an hour of each other on Wednesday afternoon.
At about 3:30 p.m. the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s deputies and Los Angeles County Fire Department responded to a call concerning the possible drowning of a 7-year-old boy in La Crescenta.
“The call came in as CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) in progress,” said Stephanie English, LACoFD spokeswoman.
The woman caregiver at the house – English was not certain of the relationship to the victim – had taken the boy from the backyard pool and was giving him CPR when emergency responders arrived.
“The CPR made all the difference,” English said.
The child was alert but disoriented.
“The boy had been resuscitated, however as a precaution L.A. County Fire [Department] had requested a transport to a hospital,” said Sgt. Randy Tuinstra.
An L.A. County Fire Department helicopter landed in the upper field of Rosemont Middle School. The boy was transported to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, according to an L.A. Fire Department spokesman.
About an hour later LACoFD responded to another call of a La Cañada home.
“An older [girl] found her 4-year-old sister in the pool. The sister reported that [the young girl] was blue but by the time [responders] arrived she was OK and sitting on her mom’s lap,” English said.
The 4-year-old was transported to Huntington Memorial Hospital as a precaution.
English said the two calls are a warning that it is always important to be aware of children and pools.
“This is scaring me for the summer,” she said.
Although this type of tragic accident is not as common in the Crescenta Valley and La Cañada areas as it is in areas like Santa Clarita, it is still important to review pool safety rules.
If having a party around a pool each adult should be given a time period to watch the children playing.
“They should not drink or socialize, just watch the children for that time period,” English said. “[Children] often drown with many adults present. We hear it all the time – ‘I just looked away for a second.’ It only took a second.’”
If a child is missing from the home, English strongly advised that caregivers should immediate search the pool first.
“Illuminate the pool then search everywhere else,” she said.
In an effort to bring awareness to this preventable accident, LACoFD division that includes La Crescenta and La Cañada will be rolling out a new campaign geared at young children and pool safety.
The “Children Drown Without A Sound” campaign will help educate adults and children on how to stay safe this summer, and beyond.
English said many times children sneak into a backyard pool.
“Our message will be often times when you hear of a drowning it is not because of possible negligence. Children sometimes are quiet and they sneak into a pool because they don’t want to get into trouble,” English said. “They go in slowly and then it is too late to hear them scream and splash. Two minutes underwater without breathing and you can lose your child.”
For information on pool safety visit http://fire.lacounty.gov/SafetyPreparedness/SafetyPrep_Pool_safety.asp.