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2-year-old nearly drowns in Mesa

PHOENIX — A 2-year-old nearly drowned in a backyard pool Wednesday, the Mesa Fire Department said.

“There have been four water-related incidents in the East Valley in the past three days,” said Mesa Fire Capt. Forrest Smith. “Three of them here in Mesa in the last 48 hours. (Wednesday) morning’s incident proves that you can’t take your eyes off of your children when they are around a pool.”

Wednesday’s incident occurred at a home near Greenfield Road and Southern Avenue in Mesa about 7:30 a.m. Fire officials said a father was outside with his two children. The older child was swimming and the second child was not supposed to be in the water.

“He became distracted,” said Smith. “He was on his cell phone. The girl’s mom noticed the child floating face down and ran outside to pull her out. She immediately started CPR and by the time crews arrived the child had started breathing on her own.”

Since the beginning of the year, there have been over 20 drownings, including nine children in Maricopa and Pinal counties, according to the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona.