ORANGE (CBSLA.com) — A couple whose son drowned earlier this year is reminding caregivers to keep an eye on their kids after a series of near-drownings in Orange County.
Jonathan St. Clair and Julie Lopiccolo said their son, Jasper, who would have been 2 years old on Monday, died in March in the care of a babysitter.
“It only takes a few seconds and once they slip underwater, if you’re not paying enough attention quickly enough, the damage starts soon. The only cure and the only way to prevent it is to 100 percent have your eyes on your child,” St. Clair said.
CBS2’s Michele Gile said there have been six drownings, and nine near-drownings, in Orange County so far this year.
A 3-year-old boy nearly drowned in an Irvine community pool on Sunday.
“‘Mom was screaming over and over, ‘My baby, my baby,’ because nobody wishes this to happen. And dad was there. Mom said that dad was a doctor,” witness Robin Cowan said.
The father dove in and helped save his son.
Also on Sunday, officials said an unattended child nearly drowned in South Orange County. She is now in critical condition.
“Ninety minutes later, in a backyard pool in Mission Viejo, a 6-year-old girl and a 3-year-old girl were left unattended in their backyard pool. And when the dad came out, he saw his 6-year-old daughter floating in the pool,” Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi said.
Jasper’s parents said they are starting a foundation to educate people in their son’s name.
“Our goal would be that not a single child in Orange County would die,” Lopiccolo said.