Riverside County Water Safety Campaign - Palm Springs News, Weather, Traffic, Breaking News

Riverside County Water Safety Campaign

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By BROOKE WILLIAMS--The Riverside County Fire Department and Riverside County Board of Supervisors announced a water safety campaign Tuesday. Drowning is one of the leading causes of death among children nationwide and the number of drowning incidents has increased in Riverside County this year.

There have already been 21 near drownings and five drownings in Riverside County halfway into the year. Compare that to 19 near drownings and two deaths all of last year.

Riverside County Fire Chief John R. Hawkins spoke at the news conference and stressed ways to prevent drowning. Hawkins said close supervision is key and that parents and caretakers should never turn their backs to children while in the water. Children should also be taught how to swim and caretakers should learn how to administer CPR.

Serena Smith and her son, Darnay, were also in attendance. Darnay,  15, of Corona, nearly drowned as a two-year-old but his father knew CPR and was able to help him until help arrived. Darnay's mother became emotional during the news conference while recounting her son's close call in the water.

Officials at the event said bathtubs and buckets of water can be as dangerous as swimming pools. Children can drown in as little as one inch of water, they said, and it is imperative that proper precautions are taken.

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