Hometown Hero: Kayleigh Byrd

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Swimming pools can bring many fun times but they can also bring tragedy.

According to "Safe Kids," more than 900 children between the ages of one and 14 die each year in drowning accidents.

When a quick-thinking five-year-old saw her younger sister was in danger, she saved her life, making her this week's Hometown Hero.

Like most children, five-year-old Kayleigh Byrd loves to play baseball, play with her dogs and she loves to swim.

"She's a really good swimmer. She swims all through the deep end at the YMCA," said Kayleigh's mother Jennifer Byrd.

Those swimming skills came in handy when Kayleigh was faced with a scary situation.

Her dad took Kayleigh and her two-year-old sister Cadence outside to swim when he realized he had forgotten their towels.

"I turned around and in the time it took me to get to the deck, I turned around and all I could see was her float," Kayleigh's father Jonathon Byrd said.

"I told my daddy that she slipped out of her ring and she was splashing around and I yelled, 'Daddy, Daddy,'" Kayleigh explained.

She had saved her sister from drowning.

"I picked her up and I saved her," Kayleigh added.

"Kayleigh had her held under her arms out of the water," her father continued.

Child drownings can happen in the blink of an eye.

"I'm proud of her that she was able to think fast that day," Jennifer said.

"After it happened, I realized how serious it could have been if she hadn't been in there or seen her," Jonathon added.

Kayleigh's parents said they weren't surprised by their daughter's actions.

"She's always been really mature and grown-up for her age," Jennifer admitted.

As for Cadence, she knows her big sister did something special for her but she's too young to understand she was rescued from a life or death situation.

"She probably wasn't even scared that day. She doesn't get scared of anything. She just jumps into it," Jennifer said.

Kayleigh now wants to be a lifeguard when she grows up.

But for now, she's the big sister that became a Hometown Hero.

If you know someone you think should be recognized as a Hometown Hero, you can e-mail us at hero@wbko.com.

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