Few know what drowning really looks like - 8 News NOW

Few know what drowning really looks like

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LAS VEGAS -- Hollywood often portrays drowning as someone kicking and screaming, but lifeguards say that is a far cry from reality.

They say kids often slip beneath the water and die silently. Many times, parents don't even know their child is in trouble.

The Clark County Desert Breeze Aquatics Center hosted a safety fair Friday to help parents keep kids safe around water. Lifeguards say kids between the ages of 1 and 4 are at the highest risk for drowning.

Regina Angeles never takes her eyes off her son Ahron, when they're at the pool.

"There's a lot of kids drowning in the pool, you know, parents that don't pay attention,” Angeles said.

Ahron has been swimming since he was 1 years old, but Angeles feels his safety falls to her.

“There's a lot of people here. They only have a couple of lifeguards, so the parents should be responsible first," Angeles said.

Katie Eubanks is no stranger to dangers at the pool. As a lifeguard for several years, she has saved dozens of people from drowning.

"It's silent and it's quick and it happens like that," Eubanks said. "Kids very rarely yell. Adults very rarely yell, because it is instant panic.”

Eubanks says the danger comes when kids get in too deep.

"A lot of times you'll see what we call the zombie walk. Kids will instinctively put their arms out and their heads back in the water, when it's getting deep. They're trying to keep their airway out of the pool,” Eubanks said.

She says kids quickly tire, and soon, slip silently beneath the surface.

"It doesn't look like it does in Hollywood. They're arms are never out of the water. They're never screaming or yelling,” Eubanks said.

While Ahron is comfortable in the water, Angeles says she is still not taking any chances.

"I need to look at him like every second," Angeles said.

Lifeguards say it's important your child is comfortable in the water, and that could mean years of swim classes.

They are also reminding people about the ABC&D’s of drowning prevention:

  • A- adult supervision
  • B- barriers to your pool and bodies of water
  • C- classes, swim lessons and CPR
  • D- devices, life jackets and rescue tools
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