2 Children dead in separate Labor Day weekend drownings

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- At a Phoenix home Saturday afternoon, there were still toys in the pool as evidence of a party in progress. But it came to a screeching, sad stop when one of the boys visiting this home was discovered at the bottom of the pool.

"I thought he could swim and he was in the hot tub then he jumped to the pool," said Michael, a little boy at the pool who saw it all.

The boy in the pool survived, but he's in critical condition. A 5-year-old boy in Buckeye and a 3-year-old girl in Mesa were not as lucky. Both drowned at parties at someone else's home.

Trudy Thompson Rice with the Red Cross has two tips to ensure safety at your home.

"If you are the host, it's like anything else. You are the responsible party. Bottom line," she said.

First, you can designate your own lifeguard. She suggests giving them a physical reminder of their job.

"It may be wearing a hat. I take the hat off, I put it on you. It signals to you that you are the watcher while I'm in the bathroom, answering the phone, whatever," Rice said.

The other option? Pay a freelancing professional to watch your pool without joining the party.

"Look for a certified lifeguard. Any of the city pools can tell you what those certifying bodies are, and some of them maintain a list of who can work private parties freelance," said Rice.

Lifeguards for rent can easily be found online. Experts say, in an emergency, that could be money well spent.