Multiple children nearly drown in central Indiana on Fourth of July

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Family celebrations on the Fourth of July quickly took a terrifying turn after multiple children were pulled from the water.

A 4-year-old Muncie girl was rescued after nearly drowning at Prairie Creek Reservoir. First Responders said she was playing in the sun and went into the water to cool down, but suffered from heat exhaustion. Medical personnel were able to quickly save the girl who is expected to be okay.

Earlier, a 2-year-old boy was reported missing at a home on E. Dudley Street in Muncie. He was later found in the pool. First responders said he was rushed to the hospital and is in critical condition.

Then, later on Indianapolis' southeast side, a 2-year-old boy was found at the bottom of a pool. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

"Tragedies around water happen within seconds. Pools, bathtubs, toilets, anytime there’s open water, there could be the potential for a tragedy. It could happen in a split second, as soon as you draw your back," said Andrew Joseph, the area manager for Goldfish Swim Schools. He added, "once they hit the water, if they don’t know how to swim, the drowning can actually start instantly."

Joseph encourages parents to enroll their children in swim classes. According to statistics from the National Drowning Prevention Alliance, there's an 80 percent reduction in drowning with swimming lessons.  Joseph said even young children can learn the basics of what to do if they fall in the water.

"You can start getting children in water as soon as four months. The sooner you get them in water, the more acclimated they’re going to be," Joseph said.

It's unclear if the children in these cases were trained swimmers. Police said they were not wearing life jackets.

"You just want to make sure that everything gets snug. You want to make sure everything gets fastened. You don’t want to leave it to where there’s a gap in there because that’s dangerous and the child could actually slip out," Joseph said.

He also encourages parents to learn CPR and have an AED nearby.

Click here to learn more about drowning prevention.

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