Boy, 3, nearly drowns in Philadelphia pool - 6at4

July 19, 2012

The Kroc Center pool in East Falls opened in 2010. Wednesday night it was busy.

Two lifeguards were on duty when a 3-year-old named Derek slipped underwater. According to the Salvation Army it was several minutes before anyone discovered it. Life guards and EMTs were able to begin lifesaving measures.

The Red Cross says the first line of defense for little ones is a vigilant adult nearby.

Water Safety instructor Leo Pratte says a properly-designed life jacket called a Personal Floatation Device is also critically important. They should be approved by the U.S. Coast Guard, and are designed to keep a child's face out of the water. "Anytime that a child that age goes into the water they should have some kind of personal floatation device. If they don't their parents should be with them holding onto them, always within arm's reach, right there with them," Pratte told Action News.

Swimmies, the little inflatable arm floats that people put on children, is not a safe alternative because too often they can slip of the arm and become useless.

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