Drowning warning for Valley parents

PHOENIX - Two children died Saturday in separate swimming pool accidents, just hours apart.

Emergency responders on the scenes said both children were missing for around 20 minutes before family found them unconscious in their pools.

"There was no response to medical treatment or from CPR," Mesa Paramedic Blu Caton said.

The first drowning call came in around 3:30 p.m. in Mesa, near the intersection of Broadway Road and Val Vista Drive. Investigators say a 3-year-old girl was out in the pool with several of her big brothers and sisters. The older siblings eventually all got out, but police say they forgot about the little girl.

There were no adults watching the pool, just other  family, no older than 14.

"We like to stress adult supervision, especially with seven kids in the pool," Caton said. "That's a lot to handle."

The little girl was pronounced dead shortly after at nearby hospital.

A couple hours later, and just a few miles away in South Phoenix near 44th Street and Southern Avenue, a 7-year-old girl could not get out of her above ground pool when her family was not watching.

When her family found her, police say they immediately called 911.

"The 911 operators worked with the grandparents to start them doing CPR; they told them how to do the CPR," Phoenix Fire Capt. Jonathan Jacobs explained.

Paramedics and the family's efforts were not enough. The girl died in the Maricopa Medical Center.

"Anytime they don't get oxygen to their brains, it's too long," Capt. Jacobs said describing the danger of pools. "The fire department was there in three minutes, but it's not enough. It's not fast enough."

"These are the worst calls we go on, just because they're so emotional," Caton said. "It's hard on the family, it's hard on the crews. We'd like to not go on any more of these ever again, but unfortunately, that's probably not going to happen."

For all of 2010, Maricopa County had a total of 48 water related deaths, 20 of them were children.

So far this year, the county has had five. That number is expected to jump as the summer approaches.
 

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