County officials reminded parents and other adults to keep a close eye on children as summer draws to a close, because the number of accidental drownings is up in the region over last year.
Two children died in a backyard pool, one in a jacuzzi, two in other backyard bodies of water and one in a bathtub, according to county figures released Wednesday. There were four accidental drownings of children last year and nine in 2009.
"It only takes a few minutes for an unfortunate drowning to occur,'' Supervisor Bill Horn said. "Tragically, we've lost six children under age 2 to accidental drowning in San Diego County this year.''
Drowning is the second leading cause of death for children ages 1-14, and for every fatal case, there are four near-drownings that end up with patients in hospital emergency rooms, according to the county.
Sue Cox, director of trauma services at Rady Children's Hospital Trauma Services, said victims of near-drownings can suffer brain damage that results in long-term disabilities
"It's important to remember seconds count,'' Cox said. "The quicker the response time, the better chance a child has of an improved outcome of a near-drowning.''
Nick Macchione, director of the county Health and Human Services Agency, added that most drowning young victims are out of their parents' sight for less than five minutes.
City News Service contributed to this report.