Amid sounds of summer, lifeguards remind parents about the silen - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Amid sounds of summer, lifeguards remind parents about the silence of drowning

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The sounds of summer and kids having a good time at the pool can easily mask the quiet of a child drowning. The sounds of summer and kids having a good time at the pool can easily mask the quiet of a child drowning.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The sounds of summer and kids having a good time at the pool can easily mask the quiet of a child drowning.

"A drowning victim is a silent victim," Kentuckiana Pool management's J.C. Barnett explained. "They don't yell for help. That's actually a Hollywood thing, where a person splashes their arms and legs and they're screaming 'help! help! help!' That's actually a distressed swimmer."

Barnett has been training lifeguards for more than three decades and says drownings happen quickly.

"The whole thing being a breathing person to an unconscious person -- 10-20 seconds," he said.

Paige Kihnley lost her only child, 4-year-old Darryn, a year ago.

"Whenever they're swimming, it's only a matter of -- you know -- time," she said. "They can lose their life like that. That's what he did."

She says Darryn was in the care of an aunt and uncle.

"[They] took him to a pool party. I was not aware of this pool party."

She says no one was watching him.

"He wasn't in there long, it took a split second," Kihnley said.

"If it's a non-swimmer, a parent should be within an arm's reach, at all times," Barnett said.

Not only are drownings silent, Barnett says they can happen right in front of you.

"Most drownings in this country -- people under 17 happen in 3-5 feet of water, 4-6 years-old and someone's within 10 feet of them," said Barnett. "So right there is where most of the drownings occur in the shallow end."

Kihnley wishes she'd been there for her son.

"Absolutely do not let anybody watch your kids. Nobody," Kihnley said.

In her son's case, no charges were filed and Kihnley was left grieving for her son.

"I had him, it was the best day of my life, I love my little boy. He was so happy, so outgoing, he was athletic. He was gonna be something," she said.

Barnett says arm floaties don't cut it and anything you inflate -- can be deflated.

He recommends getting life jackets approved by the U.S. Coast Guard.

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