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Parents on alert following child's near drowning

PORTLAND (WGME) -- Many parents are being extra vigilant this summer watching their kids around the pool after a five year old girl in Minot nearly drowned last Thursday.  According to the American Red Cross over 200 young children drown in swimming pools each year.

"I turned it on and Zekes is gonna be five on Tuesday... and I don't want to sound cheesy but it really hurt me, it made me cry," said Chico Villarreal which watching his four year old son at Portland's Kiwanis pool.

Heather Nickerson kept a close eye on her four year old playing near the pool as well.

"My sister has a pool where she lives and he likes to bend down and scoop the water out a lot and that freaks me out because I'm always afraid hes gonna fall in," said Nickerson.

The American Red Cross recommends these tip to stay safe around pools:
- Secure your pool with appropriate barriers, like fences or covers when it's not in use.
- Consider installing a pool alarm.
- Keep the water clean and clear.
- Always Keep children under active supervision.
- Establish rules like "no diving," no running" and "no swimming alone."
You can find other tips on the American Red Cross's website.

Lifeguards at Portland's Kiwanis pool say they have a long list of pool rules for kids and adults including if your child can't touch the bottom of the pool, parents need to be in the pool with them.