2 girls drown in seperate pools in the valley

LAS VEGAS - Two children drowned in backyard pools about an hour apart during unrelated Independence Day gatherings.

The parents of both girls likely felt the children were safe, surrounded by friends and family. In both cases, the girls were found in the pool and, by the time anyone noticed, it was too late to save them.

People searched for 6-year-old Jael McKnight in a neighborhood off Torrey Pines Drive and Smoke Ranch Road Monday night. An hour after the search began, the girl’s cousin Codi Fernandez said Jael was found.

“I got back. One of the women, she looked at me and started crying. She said they found her in the pool,” he said. “I didn't know what to say or do."

McKnight was taken to University Medical Center, but died.

Her death wasn't the last drowning of the night. An hour later, first responders found an unresponsive 3-year-old girl in a swimming pool in North Las Vegas. She died the next morning.

Percy Radford is a lifeguard instructor. He says, "It takes nothing but a second for you to blink your eyes, and they swallow water, and they're at the bottom."

These drowning deaths hit close to home for Radford, who is a father of six girls and lifeguard instructor of hundreds.

"If you know you're going to be distracted, you need to hire a lifeguard and let them watch your children," he said.

Radford says, even with a lifeguard on duty, parents should always keep on eye on all their kids. If a child is found unresponsive in a pool, Radford advises, "The first thing you want to do is make sure the airway is clear."

Radford says to pinch the nose of the child, apply two breaths and begin chest compressions.

"If they're drowning, you want to make sure you start those compressions until EMS gets there,” he said. “That's going to keep the body and the brain alive, so EMS can come in and do what they have to do."

Police are investigating both of those drowning deaths. They have not said if the adults at those parties will face charges.


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