MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - It's not even officially summer in Minnesota, but officials say there's already been a spike in the number of area drownings.
The quick transition from snowy conditions to record May heat may have had something to do with the rash of incidents in the last few weeks, says Washington County Deputy Scott Zitzloff, who works the water patrol division for the sheriff's department.
"Drownings are actually a silent incident," he said. "If your kids are in the pool, make sure you are always watching them and they have a life jacket on--even if they are a good swimmer and even in a pool at a hotel or a residence."
At least three near-drownings have been reported in the last week or so, starting two weeks ago when a young boy hopped over a fence and plunged into an Eagan apartment complex pool. Luckily a construction worker pulled the five-year-old out and began CPR, likely saving the boy's life. He was booked into the hospital in critical condition but was upgraded to "serious" last week, where he remains today.
Another family got their brush with tragedy over the Memorial Day weekend when an 11-year-old alerted adults at Lake Johanna in Arden Hills, Minn., of a little girl floating face down in the water. The girl was also pulled from the water and is now expected to make a full recovery.
Then on Friday a three-year-old boy was airlifted to Children's Hospital in Minneapolis after he was found unconscious by a parent at the bottom of a residential pool in Woodland Township, Minn. His condition is unknown.
“It happens just like that,” said Chris Lykken of Prior Lake, whose youngest son nearly drowned on a cruise ship close to five years ago. Chris' wife, Lisa, was holding her son Chase's hand and let go for a minute to get some sunscreen, losing track of the four-year-old in the crowded pool area. He was underwater for nearly 20 minutes by the time somebody noticed him in the pool. “If I could tell any parents out there: I don’t think there are too many precautions you can take, especially little kids near a pool."
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story stated that the Lykken's son had died in a drowning incident. He did not.