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Orange County Swimming Pool Accidents Claim Two Lives in Three Days

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Eighteen-month-old Isabelle Jenkins and 2-year-old Tyler Frey-Cruz were two Orange County children who died in two separate swimming pool drowning accidents, The Orange County Register reports. We obtained the girl’s identity from an Orange County Coroner’s press release. The two drowning incidents occurred within three days last week when we’ve had summer-like weather conditions in Southern California.

Tyler drowned in a backyard pool in Irvine on November 12, 2008 while Isabelle drowned in an in-ground spa next to a backyard pool in Mission Viejo on November 14, 2008. Police officials in Irvine and Mission Viejo are trying to figure out how the children gained access to the water. In Tyler’s case, his grandfather who was babysitting him was apparently talking on the phone for a few minutes when he took his eyes off the toddler. The man found his grandchild floating the pool. It is not clear how Isabelle drowned.

My heart goes out to the families of both these young children. What a terrible and heartbreaking, yet, preventable tragedy! Please keep these children’s parents in your prayers.

This is a wake-up call for all of us – parents, grandparents and caregivers. With extended summer-like weather, all of us have been spending some bonus time in our pools, spas and at the beach. That also means that we have to maintain the same amount of vigilance. All the rules still apply. Do NOT leave your infant, toddler or young children unsupervised – even for a moment. Children are creative and imaginative. If they want to find a way to get in the pool or spa, they will. You can never be too careful, too vigilant or too safe. Remember, if a neighbor’s child or a child visiting your house drowns in your swimming pool, you could be held liable for the death of that child.

According to safety officials, about 25 people have drowned in Orange County water-related accident this year and a majority of those victims were children. In fact, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, drowning is said to be the leading cause of death for children under the age of 5.

These deaths do not have to happen. There are many steps parents and caregivers can take. Always supervise children and have several barriers around pools and spas. Also, being trained in CPR can make a difference in preventing tragedy. Information about local CPR and water safety classes can be found at the Orange County Fire Authority’s Web site at www.ocfa.org or through the American Red Cross at www.redcross.org.

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