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Toddler Drowning Draws Pool Safety Awareness

The Cambria County Coroner has confirmed the drowning death of a three year-old Saturday in the Woodvale neighborhood of Johnstown.
JOHNSTOWN, CAMBRIA COUNTY - The Cambria County coroner has confirmed the drowning death of a three year-old Saturday in the Woodvale neighborhood of Johnstown.

Coroner, Dennis Kwiatkowski, says three year-old Jordin Sisco drowned in a backyard swimming pool at the home in Woodvale.

According to Kwiatkowski, Jordin was at a sleepover at the home, when she wandered into the backyard.

The adults inside notice she was not inside and found her in the above-ground pool.

Kwiatkowski says CPR was administered. Jordin died at Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown.

The drowning has been ruled accidental.

According to the Center for Disease Control, every day about ten people die from unintentional drowning in the United States, and of those people, two are children aged 14 and younger.

When it comes to swimming and children, experts say every second counts.

"Once they go under the water, they've only got about 20 to 30 seconds before they'll take water into their lungs," Centre County Parks and Recreations Aquatics Supervisor Todd Roth said. "Without oxygen, it's about two to three minutes until brain damage starts to occur."

According to the CDC, drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional death in children ages 1-14, and most drowning deaths among children happen in home swimming pools.

Roth says there are ways to keep kids safe while swimming.

"They should have a fence around the pool and it should be a fence that their kids can't get into if they're not around," he said.

Roth says the fence should have a gate latch that opens away from the pool, rather than into it. That way, if a child were to push the gate, the door will close rather than open.

He also says it's best to keep pool toys to a minimum.

"The kid may say oh, look at that big, bright-colored toy in there, I'm going to get it and the next thing you know, they fall in the pool," he said.

Roth says it's important for kids to take swimming lessons, too and it doesn't hurt for the adults to know basic CPR. He says most importantly, supervision is key to keeping kids safe.

"Making sure you're aware of all the possible obstacles and hazards, either around the home or at a public facility," he said.

Experts also say initiating a buddy system with kids is important for folks with a backyard pool. Always make sure your children know to swim with a buddy. For more swimming safety tips, visit http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/water-safety/waterinjuries-factsheet.html.
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