On July 26 last summer, 4 year-old Sitlaly Hernandez was pulled from Windsor Lake, not breathing.
She was being watched that day by family. Her mother, Emma Hernandez was not there but received the phone call from her brother.
“It’s tough, especially when they tell you that your child is in ICU, that you have to be prepared for what happens,” Hernandez said.
Sitlaly survived her near drowning because two off-duty nurses were able to resuscitate her after another swimmer bumped into her foot and pulled her from the lake.
As the days warm up, more families with kids will be heading to their local swimming areas.
The Center for Disease Control says between 2005 and 2014 there were 3,536 unintentional drownings annually - or about 10 a day.
Lia Dahlr from Arvada put her 9 month-old in a class that teaches survival skills around water.
“I just wanted to make sure he could take care of himself if there’s a lapse of a thirty second window where we don’t see something happen”, Dahlr said.
Janna Wertz is the instructor for the Infant Swimming Resource class that Dahlr’s son Wylder participated in.
“They have to get used to holding their breath and once they do, they start to relax and that’s why they can learn at such a young age in the water,” Wertz said.
Wertz says while getting your child started early is best, there are other things you can do to prevent accidents around open water.
“I can’t stress enough the importance of active adult supervision with any child that is swimming,” Wartz said. “You need to make sure you’re always watching your kids in the water. Then there’s other things like gates around pools, alarms on doors that lead to pools. All of those things will help.”
Sitlaly made a full recovery and her mother is thankful to those that helped her daughter breath again.