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Lifeguards say parents should know the signs of trouble in the water

WCIV

It’s a life or death situation that happens too often every summer. A child -- seconds away from drowning.

The CDC says about one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger, so knowing the warning signs can save a life.

While lifeguards at water parks like Whirlin' Waters Adventure Park are trained to spot simmers in trouble, the weather is heating up and water parks are becoming more crowded.

The water park opened for the season in May and so far lifeguards have rescued 20 people.

Kevin Rowland from Whirlin' Waters shared rescue video with ABC News 4. In one video (view above), a young swimmer falls off a tube and panics, splashing her arm in the water. The lifeguard sees the swimmer in trouble and jumps into help.

Lifeguards are trained to spot the warning signs. Those same signs parents should watch out for to determine if their child is in trouble.

Here are the warning signs Rowland said you can look for:

- a panicked look on the child's face.

- the child being vertical in the water and not making an swimming motions

- their mouth and nose covered by the water

- arms extended laterally while the body is vertical. The child will be unable to call for help and their arms will be pushing the water down to try and get their mouth/nose above the water's surface.

Lifeguards are trained to watch for the signs. Chris Fludd-Clark has worked at Whirlin' Waters for five years. He says he has rescued up to 30 people. He says often when issues happen, parents aren't around.

"Don’t always rely on the lifeguard to watch your kids because there are other people in the pool," Fludd-Clark said.

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