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County: Near-drowning incidents saw uptick between March and July

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Posted at 2:08 PM, Aug 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-20 17:13:06-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — County health officials say with the summer months well underway, they've seen an uptick in the number of children that have needed to be rescued from private pools after nearly drowning.

Officials say there have been 49 rescues in private pools, beaches, and bays from March through July, compared to 37 in the same period in 2019 and 33 in 2018. Nearly all of those rescued this year have needed to be taken to the hospital for treatment.

Of those 49 that occurred this year, 28 were in pools and 14 were in the ocean, lakes, or bays. The rest did not report a specific body of water. Many public pools have been closed since March due to the pandemic.

"Parents and guardians must take the necessary precautions to keep these incidents from happening," said Wilma Wooten, county public health officer, said. "Children who swim in pools at home are at higher risk of drowning, especially as parents struggle to supervise their children while continuing to work at home through the summer months because of the novel coronavirus."

The county says it's important to teach children to swim, never leave a child unsupervised in or near water, avoid alcohol if you're swimming, and learn CPR.

At home, the county recommends installing a fence around the pool and hot tub, installing pool alarms, and keeping an eye on drains and pool toys that could be a tripping hazard.