RANCHO CORDOVA, CA - A 7-year-old had the right idea, but it almost cost a toddler her life.
Ava, 2, went into a Rancho Cordova backyard pool Tuesday afternoon wearing a flotation device put on by an older child. The device was not an approved life jacket and the children's grandmother found the little girl facedown in the water with blue lips.
Pool and water safety advice
"I took her out, and I laid her on the concrete, got that vest off of her and started doing CPR," said Billie Lara, the girl's grandmother.
Paramedics with Sacramento Metro Fire responded to the emergency to discover Lara had already revived Ava.
"You did everything you were supposed to do, and you made our job easy," Lara said, quoting firefighters when they arrived.
As a precaution, Ava was taken to UC Davis Medical Center.
The grandmother, Billie Lara, said she had gone into the house to answer the phone when Lara persuaded the foster child she cares for to open the gate - and moments later Ava had jumped into the pool.
By Wednesday morning, Ava was jumping back in the pool as if nothing had happened.
Lara watches her granddaughter at her Queenwood Drive home where the incident occurred. As a foster parent, she must keep up with CPR training and she believes that saved Ava's life.
There also is a 5-foot high fence around Lara's pool and a self-locking gate - which are recommended for residential pools.
Little kids are particularly vulnerable to drowning because their heads are heavy compared to their body weight and they don't have the strength to pull themselves out of the water.
"We've got the gate, we've got the life vest, we've got it all. But that doesn't mean it can't happen. It can happen. In a split second it can happen," Lara said.
Lara is convinced Ava knows she saved her.
"Her momma said that she woke up at two o'clock this morning asking to call me. I'm gonna call Nanna."