Water safety reminders after local child drownings

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Water safety reminders after local drownings. Ali Gorman reports during Action News at 5pm on July 17, 2017.

Water safety is top of mind for many parents after several recent drownings in our area.

One of the victims was a North Philadelphia first grader, who died during a vacation at the Jersey Shore.

A vigil will be held on Monday night for 6-year-old Isabella Grattic. She drowned nine days ago at a pool in Wildwood.

"She was everything you want a student to be. She was kind, friendly, always had a smile and was here every day," said Principal Letisha Laws.

Sadly, Isabella is one of three children who drowned in separate incidents in New Jersey over the past two weeks.

Police also say a three-year-old is in critical condition after falling into the Schuylkill River on Saturday.

Emergency room doctor Megan Stobart-Gallagher says during the summer at Einstein Medical Center they're on high alert for drownings.

"It's always a possibility here so, when an alert goes off, we're worried that's something it could be," she said.

But she says it is preventable. A locked fence should be around all pools, and little ones need to be watched while swimming.

"Even kids fully trained in swimming lessons need to be observed. It only takes two seconds for them to bob under water and not come back up," Stobart-Gallagher said.

As for whether infant rescue programs help, she says they could be good training but are not recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

"It's not a guarantee to prevent anything from happening," Stobart-Gallagher said.

Back at Mastery, Principal Laws hopes to raise awareness about swimming and water safety - and also honor Isabella.

"Let her family know we love them, here for them, support them," she said.

For more information about water safety, visit CHOP.edu

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