County Drowning Prevention Coaltion pushing water safety after four kids nearly drown in past week

Drowning prevention officials pushing water safety

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - As the number of very warm days increase, so does the risk of drowning. In the past week alone, at least four Palm Beach County children have nearly drowned in pools and fortunately every one of them received CPR.

The Palm Beach County Drowning Prevention Coalition says since summer is here, it's time to learn our ABC's, which are adult supervision, barriers and classes.

"Without a doubt finding my grandson in the pool is the most devastating and most traumatic thing that I've ever been through in my life," Brian Edwards said.

It was a Christmas present Edwards never wanted to receive. Seven years ago, he found his 3-year-old grandson, Jake King, blue and lifeless in the pool.

"I just lost it," Edwards said. "I mean in trying to think fast to do whatever we could to start the process to try and save his life."

After six days in intensive care, the 3-year-old lived, but Edwards says it was a scary way to learn a valuable lesson.

"Every safety precaution has to be taken make sure those children are not left unattended," Edwards said.

That's A, adult supervision, but if you can't always watch them in the water, there's option B, which is to make sure you have a barrier around the pool.

"You're not a bad parent if you lose sight of your child," Anna Stewart of the Drowning Prevention Coalition said. "I mean children are very fast, but we want parents to recognize that they can do things around the house to make their children safe."

That could be alarms or gates, but Stewart said the more barriers the better.

"You want as many as possible so if one breaks down another will take its place," Stewart added.

There is always plan C, which she said are classes that teach your kids how to swim.

"Every child needs to know how to save themselves if they fall in a body of water," Stewart said.

By following the ABC's, hopefully it will keep you from seeing what Edwards had to seven years ago or something even worse.

"He does well now," Edwards said. "But we were on the lucky side of what a drowning incident can be."

The Drowning Prevention Coalition can't host free classes anymore, but they are willing to help in anyway they can.  You can reach them at 561-616-7068 or online at www.pbc.org/drowningprevention .

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