MUSTANG, Okla. — Safety advocates are urging caution before Oklahomans head to the water this July 4.
This summer alone, Oklahoma has seen an alarming number of drownings; 18 already, compared to a total of 31 in all of 2011.
The victims range from young to old.
Just last weekend, a 21 year old never resurfaced after jumping from a pontoon boat at Fort Gibson lake.
OHP said there were four drownings over weekend.
Officials said people underestimate a river’s undercurrent or overestimate their swimming ability in a lake.
At swimming pools, parents often turn their backs for a few minutes and their kids struggle to stay above the surface.
Tuesday, one Mustang toddler is hanging on to dear life after a kiddie pool accident.
Aqua-Tots Swim School owner Meghan Bannen said her heart goes out to the family of a two-year-old girl who nearly drowned in a kiddie pool Saturday in Mustang that was just two feet deep.
“I’m not surprised,” she said. “Kiddie pools are so common.”
In fact, Meghan said kids have drowned in just two inches of water in a bathtub.
“We hear stories like all the time, unfortunately, where a mom is distracted by maybe an older sibling or a phone ringing,” Bannen said.
The two-year-old girl’s parents were visiting next-door neighbors when she was discovered floating in the kiddie pool.
The homeowner wouldn’t talk on camera and the girl’s parents were at the hospital Tuesday afternoon but the homeowner said the kids had only been out of their parents’ view for a few minutes.
Meghan said parents should have barriers around pools.
Store-bought pool alarms are able to go off when something hits the water.
She said have one adult responsible for watching kids in a pool at all times and when a parent can’t watch their kids, they should empty anything with standing water in it; even a small pool or bucket.
“What if their face is stuck to the bottom?” Bannen said. “It sounds horrific but it happens all the time. All across the U.S. and all over the world.”
At last check, the two-year-old girl was still listed in critical condition at an area hospital.
The homeowner of the property where the accident happened tells us she got rid of that kiddie pool.
We’re told that little girl had been adopted just seven months ago.