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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Just in time for Fourth of July pool parties and lake days, Portland Parks and Recreation celebrated ‘Water Safety Day’ at the East Portland Community Center pool.

Experts were on hand Tuesday afternoon, teaching youngsters and their families how to stay safe, while splashing around.

Certified life guard, An Tran, was at the event, keeping an eye on little ones as they learned to swim.

“When kids just don’t pay attention to how deep the water is, especially when they go down the slide, it kind of catches them off guard.” she said. “They kind of get the wind knocked out of them.”

Tran, who has worked for PP&R for three years, said during that time, she has made several rescues for things, she feels, are preventable.

“A lot of times we have little kids that don’t wear lifejackets that run away from their parents and they don’t really know how to swim. we also have a lot of kids running around on the deck, slipping and falling,” Tran told FOX 12.

She recommends parents take the time to read public pool rules before allowing their kids to swim off and to pair kids up with a swim buddy, when possible.

According to Tran, it is also important to remind children to look before they leap into the pool to avoid a collision and injuries.

Tran told FOX 12 she also recommends parents learn to spot if someone is in trouble or drowning which she said is not always obvious.

“Someone can just be like still. A lot of people go into shock when they drown. They don’t really know what to do and they go motionless," she said.

Tran said the goal of Tuesday’s ‘Water Safety Day’ was to prevent drownings, which according to PP&R is the leading cause of death for kids four and under in the United States.

To educate families on water safety, four stations were set up around the community center pool. Kids and parents could go to each station and learn about everything from sun safety, choosing the right life jacket, swimming in open waters, and what not to do when enjoying a day at a crowded public pool.

Those who attended were given a passport which they could have stamped at each station, upon passing a quick quiz. Those who collected all four stamps earned prizes.

Tuesday’s event was one of eleven safety splash events PPR is hosting this summer. The full list of events and details can be found at www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/article/736162

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