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Doctors: Children Can Drown In As Little As One Inch Of Water

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) —While lots of children and families are enjoying these warm summer days by swimming, doctors want to remind the public that the sad reality is that children can drown in as little as an inch or two of water.

"It was the worst day I will ever have in my life," remembered Amelia Wieand. Her twin toddlers drowned in a babysitter's pool.

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Recently, Olympic Skiier Bode Miller lost his 19-month-old daughter, Emily. The toddler drowned in a neighbor's pool.

According to the CDC, drowning is the number one cause of accidental death for children ages 1 to 4.

Drowning Deaths CDC graphic
Credit: CBS3.

Last summer, 112 kids under the age of 5 died in swimming pools.

Josh Lockwood, the regional CEO of the American Red Cross, says a child near a pool needs constant supervision.

"You also want a fence around all four sides of the pool and that should be 4 feet tall and that pool fence should have a self-latching door," explains Lockwood.

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He says ladders or steps should be childproofed and recommends a pool alarm, which sends an alert when someone enters the water.

"It's becoming more and more common, it's a great idea," Lockwood added.

He also suggests starting swimming lessons early.

"Every person going in the water should be able to jump in of their own accord, resurface, be able to turn around in a full circle, be able to tread water for a minute," he stated.

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Lockwood says that with each tragedy, the only silver lining is the opportunity to remind parents of the pool guidelines.

Those guidelines could make the difference between life and death.

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