Thursday, December 23, 2010

Boynton Beach Police honor local heroes for saving a two-year-old girl

BOYNTON BEACH - Boynton Beach Police honored Officer David Britto, dispatch supervisor Monique Lewis and Boynton Beach resident Tara Schuster for their part in helping save a two year-old girl from drowning on November 21st.
The award ceremony took place Tuesday morning at the FOP Gold Coast Lodge in Boynton Beach.
Two year old Vitalice Dieujuste along with her mother, father, brother and sister were at the ceremony to personally thank the officer and dispatcher.
The toddler wandered outside of the family's home and fell in the family's pool. Dieujuste spent eight days in the hospital after the near drowning.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Vitalice Dieujuste: Family of Boynton toddler who almost drowned thanks police - South Florida

Elionore Dieujuste was speechless, so shocked to find her toddler floating in her backyard pool that she could hardly talk to the police dispatcher on the phone, she said.

"I couldn't even remember my address," the 36-year-old Boynton Beach mother said of the Nov. 21 incident. "I thought [my baby] was dead."

The dispatcher calmed the toddler's mother down and told her and a neighbor how to perform CPR on the 2-year-old girl until police arrived at the home in the 600 block of Southwest Fourth Avenue, Elionore Dieujuste said.
After eight days in the hospital, Vitalice Dieujuste made a full recovery.

On Tuesday, the toddler's family thanked the dispatcher and police officer who helped save her. Officer David Britto, 28, and Dispatch Supervisor Monique Lewis, 36, received a life-saving award from the police agency during a ceremony in Boynton Beach.

Lewis later gave a giant stuffed monkey to the smiling Vitalice, who attended the event with her parents, brother and sister.

"It's a good feeling to meet the family," said Lewis, who has worked as a Boynton Beach police dispatcher for 14 years. "Dispatchers usually don't get the recognition we deserve."

Elionore Dieujuste said she took her eyes off Vitalice for a minute that fateful day when she went into the kitchen to cook. After a while, she didn't hear the toddler talking, so she asked her 6-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son to look for Vitalice. The daughter saw her little sister facedown at the bottom of the home's swimming pool.

Vitalice had walked into the backyard through an unlocked door and gotten into the pool area through a broken fence, police said.

Elionore Dieujuste called police and told Lewis, the dispatcher, that she didn't know how to perform CPR. Lewis advised her to knock on a neighbor's door for help.

That neighbor, Tara Schuster, ran to the house and tried to revive the girl.

When Officer Britto arrived, he took over the CPR.

"I saw the little baby on the ground and started praying," said Britto, who said he had never performed CPR on a toddler before.

Soon Vitalice started spitting up water and gasping for air, police said. Rescue workers rushed her to Bethesda Memorial Hospital in Boynton Beach in critical condition. Her health worsened and she was placed on a ventilator.

Vitalice's parents stayed by her side until she was released eight days later, without any complications.

Elionore Dieujuste said she hopes other parents learn from what happened to her family. Her three children have enrolled in free swimming and water safety classes through the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Palm Beach County.

"You need to put your eyes on your child every minute," she said.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ryan launches water safety campaign - The Nationals Victoria

Ryan launches water safety campaign

Monday, 20 December 2010

A $1.5 million boost to Victoria’s Play It Safe By The Water campaign will directly target an alarming rise in toddler drownings, Minister for Emergency Services Peter Ryan said today.

Announcing the 2010/11 education and information campaign, Mr Ryan said the extra funds would be used to target parents and carers of toddlers between 0-4 years of age.

“One factor of this campaign is the new toddler-specific element, which features a targeted television and radio advertisement to run around the state,” Mr Ryan said.

“This new focus significantly strengthens the messages in an attempt to educate parents of young children when around water in the home or outside near such areas as a pool or a dam.”

Mr Ryan said there had been 44 fatal toddler drownings over the past 10 years, with seven deaths reported over the period 1 July 2009 and 30 June 2010.

“The majority of these deaths have occurred in a home pool or spa, with deaths involving water in buckets and bathtubs on the increase,” Mr Ryan said.

“For every drowning death, there are approximately eight non-fatal drownings that can lead to paralysis, long-term brain damage or permanent disability.”

Mr Ryan said the campaign also targeted young men who were also among the most at-risk of drowning and water-related death.

“Following an inquest into the death of a young man, the Victorian Coroner’s office recommended the State Government step up its water safety public education campaign targeting those young adults most at risk,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Coroner also advised that funds be injected into educating parents of young children.

“This year’s Play It Safe By The Water campaign addresses the Coroner’s concerns about young men being at risk and also reminds parents and carers that all it takes is a few seconds for a toddler to drown.

“The television advertisements are aimed at grabbing the attention of parents of young children, while the radio is focused on the young men,” Mr Ryan said.

The campaign boost is supported by Hannah’s Foundation - Australia’s only drowning prevention, awareness and family support charity.

Hannah’s Foundation chief executive officer Andrew Plint said the foundation commenced in February 2008 after he and his wife, Kat, lost their daughter Hannah in October 2007 after she drowned in a non-compliant and illegally built pool.

“The Foundation passionately advocates for increased awareness, pool compliance and for standardised legislation surrounding water safety in particular pool safety but most of all we assist families and try and rebuild their lives after tragedy,” Mr Plint said.

“It is also important that parents, carers and children know the importance of water safety, and the need for constant supervision around the home and compliant barriers. Public education is also very important and plays a crucial part in water safety.”

Royal Children’s Hospital Intensive Care Physician and Resuscitation Officer Associate Professor James Tibballs said the hospital had noticed an increase in toddler drowning figures over the past 12 months with pools and spas the biggest cause of death and injury for toddlers.

“Loss of young life is always heart-breaking and tragic but all the more when it is from drowning, which we all know is easily preventable by simple measures such as parental supervision,” Prof Tibballs said.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Calls for swim safety - Local News - News - General - Latrobe Valley Express

Calls for swim safety - Local News - News - General - Latrobe Valley Express: "AUSTRALIA'S Royal Life Saving Society is calling on all Latrobe Valley pool owners to ensure all safety standards are met, as toddler drowning rates have increased.
This year's annual drowning report shows that 33 children aged five years and under drowned in preventable tragedies last year and most of these drownings occurred in a backyard pool.

The study also found 80 per cent of home pools did not comply with safety standards and 70 per cent of the drownings were male.

``For every drowning death there is an estimated four hospitalisations and up to half of these toddlers will sustain permanent brain damage,'' the report states.

Owner/manager and teacher at Traralgon's Poolside Swimschool Michelle Ford said it was important to have all the safety standards in place and for parents to ensure their child knows how to swim.

``It is never too early to familiarise your toddler with water; it is about making your child aware that they can't go into the water without an adult and to feel safe and confident while in the water,'' Ms Ford said.

``You have to know where your kids are all the time. If they fall into the water it only takes a couple of seconds for them to drown and a lot of kids will drown in silence.''

Pool safety fencing is proven to keep children away from the pool when combined with parental supervision.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Parents told to take safety steps to prevent drownings - Emergency Services - News - The Manly Daily

"EVERY year over the past five years an average of 30 toddlers have drowned, with half of those deaths occurring in backyard swimming pools.

The Royal Life Saving Society is this summer urging all local pool owners to be extra vigilant in protecting their young children from meeting the same tragic fate.

The organisation is calling on locals to check their pools for problems which may lead to drownings, with research showing up to 80 per cent of pools do not comply with the relevant safety standards.

Don Dwyer, from Poolwerx Manly, said while pool safety on the northern beaches was generally fairly good, parents needed to be careful their swimming pools remained a secure environment at all times.

“The main problem is with parents not paying attention,” he said. ” People prop the gate open and forget about it and then it’s over in a second.”

Mr Dwyer said another common problem that could lead to drowning was items being placed near fences that allowed young children to climb into pool areas.

“Toddler drowning can happen so quickly,” he said. “They’re there one minute and then bang. “They don’t sing out, especially very little kids, they go under and stay there.”"

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Toddler drowning in Australia increases

Toddler drowning in Australia increases: "Toddler drowning is on the rise in Australia, according to a new report.

Almost 50 per cent of children under five years of age who drowned did so in pools in their own backyards, according to the latest statistics from the Royal Life Saving Society of Australia.

The report shows that drownings among children under five have risen from 27 deaths in the 2007/2008 year to 33 in 2009/2010.

It found that 58 per cent of drowning deaths in children under five occurred in the summer.

The Royal Life Saving 2010 National Drowning Report also showed that 33 children under five years old drowned in preventable tragedies.

Royal Life Saving CEO Rob Bradley says 80 per cent of home pools didn't comply with current safety standards.

'Thousands of pools across Australia are potentially a death trap because fence gates aren't working properly or there is loose or unsafe fencing,' he said in a statement.

'Everyone needs to put their home pool through Royal Life Saving's home pool safety checklist.'

He also said that it was 'frustrating' that some pool owners question the need for a pool fence."

Monday, December 6, 2010

Authorities investigate after toddler nearly drowns in pool

Authorities investigate after toddler nearly drowns in pool: "A 23-month-old boy’s near drowning in a Spring Hill pool has prompted Pasco Sheriff's deputies to investigate the incident.

According to authorities, the child’s grandmother was watching an unspecified amount of children on Ranch Road when she reportedly fell asleep. A three-year-old girl was said to have woken the grandmother to tell her that the boy had fallen in the pool.

She was unable to find the child, so she called the child's father on the phone. The father came to the home, jumped in the pool and found the child.

The child was alive and flown to a local hospital. He could have been in the pool for up to five minutes."

Monday, November 29, 2010

W. Van nanny saves toddler from drowning

W. Van nanny saves toddler from drowning: "A West Vancouver nanny is being praised for her quick actions after she saved an unresponsive toddler who had fallen into a backyard pool.

The 19-month-old boy was at home in the 6100-block of Nelson Avenue when he slipped away from a parent and the nanny, climbed a barricade and tumbled into the water, according to police. One of the adults found him floating there a few minutes later. When they pulled him out of the water he wasn't breathing."

Toddler saved from drowning in Sharjah - Emirates24|7

Toddler saved from drowning in Sharjah - Emirates24|7: "Toddler saved from drowning in Sharjah
By Staff
Published Sunday, November 28, 2010
A toddler was saved from drowning in a swimming pool in a residential building in Sharjah, raising concerns of lack of security guards in most buildings.

Three-year-old Yasir Hussain from Afghanistan, who was playing with other children near the pool at his building, slipped and fell into the water, reported Gulf News.

The boys mother, who does not know to swim, jumped into the pool to rescue the boy screaming for help.

A neighbour, a doctor, rushed on and saved the child and his mother. The toddler was under water for about four minutes. He was unconscious when pulled out. After performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), Dr Omar Abdul Wahid called the ambulance and had the child admitted to Al Qasimi Hospital. He was later discharged after a thorough check-up.

The mother complained that security guards are hardly present at the pool. Meanwhile, an official at Sharjah Municipality, who declined to be named, explained that municipality inspectors conduct regular visits to swimming pools in hotels, clubs, villas, furnished apartments and residential buildings to ensure that safety regulations are being adhered to."

Toddler found in swimming pool at Glendale home | Phoenix News | Arizona News | | Phoenix News

Toddler found in swimming pool at Glendale home | Phoenix News | Arizona News | | Phoenix News: "GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Officials from the Glendale Fire Department said an eighteen month-old girl is in very serious condition after nearly drowning in her family's swimming pool.
The incident happened late Saturday afternoon at a home on W. Townley Avenue near Olive and 51st Avenues. Fire officials said the child's parents lost track of the girl for approximately 10 minutes before she was discovered floating in the backyard swimming pool
A total of six people were inside the home at the time of the incident, three adults and two other children.
The girl was transported to a nearby hospital where she is currently in serious condition."


Six people were in the home. It can't be said enough: drowning happens quickly, silently, and without warning. Layers of protection, including pool fencing, are the answer.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Trophy Club girl commended for saving toddler brother | News | The Times-Register

Trophy Club girl commended for saving toddler brother | News | The Times-Register

Kayci McKinnon will never forget saving her younger brother, and neither will Trophy Club.

At Monday's Town Council meeting, Kayci, 10, and her mother received recognition for rescuing and breathing life into the tiny boy.

"By every definition of the word, you are a hero," said Trophy Club Fire Lt. Shane Beck, awarding Kayci a plaque for pulling Robert Alan "Trip" McKinnon, 2, out of the family pool at their home on Greenleaf Drive.

Just after 4 p.m., Tuesday Oct. 19, Kayci noticed Trip face-down in the pool. She dove into the pool and pulled her brother out. At the same time, her mother watched Kayci jump into the pool and rushed outside, where she administered CPR.

"That's something you never want to have to do," said Jonna McKinnon, after receiving her own commendation on Monday. "It all happened so fast."

So fast, in fact, that McKinnon left boiling potatoes on the stove before joining her son on a CareFlite helicopter headed to Fort Worth.

Fortunately, fire never threatened the home since Kelli, Kayci's twin sister, remembered to turn the burner off.

Everyone in the family seemed to do their part, with brother Skyler, 9, dialing 911.

Trip was released from Cook Children's Medical the following day. The family has no idea how long Trip was in the pool or how he became unconscious.

"He has no memory of it," said Robert Alan McKinnon II, Trip's father. "We're just so blessed at how everything turned out."

Hiding his face from the smiling audience this week, the boy was overcome by the show of support.

As camera flashes illuminated the council chambers, those on both sides of the lenses knew how fortunate the family was in eluding tragedy.

"I think for a 10-year-old to respond that way this young girl did is uncommon," Beck said. "You may have kids who recognize an emergency, but this girl had the presence of mind to alert her parents and jump into the pool."

The city's fire chief describes the incident as rare.

"In my 28 years with Trophy Club, we've had four or five," said Fire Chief Danny Thomas, referring to response calls involving drowning or potential drowning. "To save a child from drowning is a really rare thing."

Read more:

Monday, November 15, 2010

Child nearly drowns in family pool | | Charlotte News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | | News for Charlotte, NC

Child nearly drowns in family pool

by DIANA RUGG / NewsChannel 36
E-mail Diana:

Posted on November 13, 2010 at 6:46 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C.-- A young girl clings to life following a near-drowning in a back yard pool.

That little girl is currently listed in critical condition at Carolinas Medical Center.

Police say her parents weren't far away when she slipped into a pool.

Investigators say the parents were playing with their daughter in the family's back yard when a moment later she was gone.

The father checked the pool and that's where he found her.

The in-ground pool is mostly drained, so there was only a couple feet of water at most.

Police are not sure how long the little girl, believed to be about three-years-old, was underwater before her father found her.

The parents performed CPR until police and firefighters arrived.

MEDIC continued until they arrived at the hospital and doctors at the ER reported they did find vital signs.

Neighbors are relieved, but also reminded that losing sight of a child for just a moment around water can turn out disastrous.

"We didn't even know they had a pool back there, but that's number one priority for us -- especially having two young children. Always knowing the safety of where your children are at all times -- especially when they're young and don't understand water safety as much," says neighbor Brittany Rosol.

Drownings are the number two cause of unintentional injury deaths for children under 14 in the united states.

Layers of protection, including pool safety fencing, are the best way to prevent drownings.

Toddler remains critical | Ipswich News | Local News in Ipswich | Ipswich Queensland Times

Toddler remains critical | Ipswich News | Local News in Ipswich | Ipswich Queensland Times

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Family mourns loss of toddler who drowned Saturday - CBS 19 - The Eye of East Texas News - 

Family mourns loss of toddler who drowned Saturday - CBS 19 - The Eye of East Texas News - : "A 3 year old boy is the latest victim of a drowning.�It happened in west Beaumont on Saturday.

Beaumont police say the child was found at the bottom of a swimming pool on the 5200 block of Timberline.

He was taken to Christus Hospital Saint Elizabeth then transferred to a Houston hospital where he died around midnight today."

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Give A Drowning Infant Or Toddler Cpr | LIVESTRONG.COM

Give A Drowning Infant Or Toddler Cpr | LIVESTRONG.COM


A child's head is typically the heaviest part of his body, and he can easily tip over and have difficulty standing up. This is just one reason why infants and toddlers are prone to drowning in shallow water. The seconds and minutes following the moment a child is found unconscious are crucial in saving his life. CPR, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, is a useful skill in this situation; however, it is recommended that you learn CPR and gain certification from professional.

Single Person CPR

Step 1

Instruct someone to call 911 ONLY if others are around. Do NOT leave the child or infant alone to call 911 yourself. If you are alone, begin CPR.

Step 2

Remove the child from the water and place him on flat on the ground in a supine position, i.e. face-up.

Step 3

Check the child/infant's level of consciousness. Touch the bottom of his feet, tap the child/infant's shoulder, call out his name. Check for a response---a sound, moan, flinch when you touch him. Do not shake the child.

Step 4

Tilt the child's head back slightly to open the airway. Place your ear and cheek over the child's face to check for breathing. Note if you feel the child/infant's breath on your cheek. Watch to see if his chest is rising and falling. Do not check for longer than 10 seconds.

Step 5

Deliver two rescue breaths by placing your mouth over the child's mouth and squeezing the nose shut. On an infant, perform two rescue breaths by placing your mouth over the mouth and nose. Watch to make sure his chest rises with each breath you blow in, indicating the breaths have entered the lungs.

Step 6

Check for a pulse rate for 5 to 10 at the carotid artery in the neck. In an infant, check the brachial artery, found on the inside of the upper arm. If there is a pulse, resume rescue breathing. If there is no pulse or if the pulse is weak, begin chest compressions.

Step 7

Perform two-hand chest compressions on children age 1 to puberty. You may perform one-hand compressions on smaller children. On infants, use two fingers between the nipples. Perform 30 chest compressions.

Step 8

Repeat the cycle of two rescue breaths to 30 compressions five times. Once you have completed that cycle, contact 911.

Read more:

Young girl to receive Red Cross rescuer award for saving two-year-old - Local - News - The Journal Pioneer

Young girl to receive Red Cross rescuer award for saving two-year-old - Local - News - The Journal Pioneer

Young girl to receive Red Cross rescuer award for saving two-year-old

Keana Jeffery, seven, enjoys a visit with her two year-old cousin Bria Doucet. Keana rescued Bria from the family pool.Eric McCarthy/Journal Pioneer

Keana Jeffery, seven, enjoys a visit with her two year-old cousin Bria Doucet. Keana rescued Bria from the family pool.

Published on August 24th, 2010
Transcontinental Staff
Click here to find out more!
Topics :
Red Cross , Rodd Mill River Resort ,Atlantic Canada , P.E.I. , Tignish

A seven-year-old Christopher Cross girl will receive a rescuer award from the Canadian Red Cross after she helped save a toddler from drowning August 15.

On August 15, a gathering of family and friends was drawing to a close at a home in the community of Christopher Cross, when seven-year-old Keana Jeffery discovered that a two-year-old toddler had slipped unnoticed into a large inflatable pool and was struggling in water deep enough to cover her head.

Keana immediately climbed a ladder, and grabbed two-year-old Bria Doucet, keeping her head above water until adults arrived moments later and got her out.

The toddler was frightened but uninjured.

However where it takes only seconds for a toddler to drown, the Canadian Red Cross agrees the incident could have ended tragically had Keana not acted when she did, said Janice Babineau, communications co-ordinator, Canadian Red Cross / Atlantic Canada

The Red Cross will present Keana with its Rescuer Award, which in the case of children recognizes those who – without first aid or other training – intervene to save a life, prevent further injury or comfort the injured.

Keana will also be offered free participation next summer in Canadian Red Cross water safety day camps held every year for Island children in several communities throughout PEI including in Tignish, near her home.

The Rescuer Award will be presented in a brief gathering at Rodd Mill River resort, which is an authorized training partner of the Canadian Red Cross in swimming and water safety programs.

The presentation is set for Thursday Aug. 26 at 1:30 P.M. at Rodd Mill River Resort pool facility in Woodstock, West Prince.

The Red Cross said it’s been a disturbing year for drownings and other water-related fatalities, with over 200 such deaths so far across Canada in 2010 including at least 33 in the Atlantic Provinces.

Unlike other parts of the country, the Atlantic region has at least been spared the agony of a toddler drowning in a backyard pool, but it could easily have happened recently in rural P.E.I. were it not for the alertness and quick action of a young girl, said Babineau.

Monday, August 16, 2010

How do you say "I'm drowning" in sign language? Ask a baby - 2010-Aug-15 - CultureMap Houston

How do you say "I'm drowning" in sign language? Ask a baby - 2010-Aug-15 - CultureMap Houston

How do you say "I'm drowning" in sign language? Ask a baby

August 15th, 2010 at 7:57 AM

It's no secret that not every one of us is a Michael Phelps. But when six teenagers drowned while slipping from a wading area into the deep water of a Louisiana river earlier this month, it brought to the fore the issue of just how many Americans are not as swimming savvy as they should be.

According to a 2008 study conducted by researchers at the University of Memphis, almost 54 percent of children between 12 and 18 can barely survive the kiddie pool.

Demographics play a startlingly large role in the stats: African-American children between 5 and 14 years old are more than three times as likely to drown as their white friends. Income also plays a significant role — sixty-seven percent of poor swimmers have a household income less than $49,999.

And it looks like the better-off are sending their toddlers to swimming lessons at earlier ages, even before they have fully mastered talking. So how is it that these tots are lapping older children without being able to even mutter a taunt?

The answer is sign language. Yes, the language of the deaf has beenappropriated by over-involved parents to empower their babies with preemptive communication.

The logic behind teaching toddlers how to sign is that they typically have motor control of their hands and fingers months sooner than their mouths. More parents are now teaching a short vocabulary of American Sign Language, pricey classes are spreading and members-only how-to sites are booming. A baby who signs is the latest status symbol in parenting — consider it the toddler equivalent of sending your teen to study at theSorbonne. Just ask any of the proud parents enrolled in "Words by the Handful" at The Motherhood Center in Montrose.

At River Oaks' Saint Street Swim, not only is it trendy to send a merely months-old tot to swimming lessons — it's also now common to spot a swim instructor baffled by a baby rapidly tossing out signs.

"This baby will be signing at me, and I have no idea if it's saying that it's hungry, wants its mommy or can't handle the backstroke," says Mark Szmania, a Saint Street instructor. "I'm left totally out of the loop."

Hopefully high class swim tutors will catch up before the elite's first-born hit the bottom of the pool, too. Perhaps the only fix for America's swim-savvy deficiency is the arrival of Wii Swim.

Monday, August 2, 2010

CTV Toronto - Toddler drowns in backyard pool near Windsor - CTV News

CTV Toronto - Toddler drowns in backyard pool near Windsor - CTV News: "A two-year-old boy drowned in a backyard pool near Windsor on Friday evening, the latest in a rash of drownings this summer.

The toddler had no vital signs when his father pulled him from the water around 7 p.m. The boy, whose name has not been released, was pronounced dead in hospital later that night.

An autopsy is scheduled for Saturday.

This marks the 76th fatal drowning in Ontario so far this year. Seven were toddlers who drowned in backyard pools. Last year, there were 64 drownings across the province.

The incident occurred in Amherstburg, about 30 kilometres south of Windsor."

Toddler Drowns In Pitt County Pool

Toddler Drowns In Pitt County Pool: "Authorities in Pitt County say a two year old toddler drowned in a swimming pool Thursday morning.

It happened at a home on Weyerhaeuser Road outside of Grifton.

Sheriff Mac Manning says they are trying the determine exactly what happened, although he says there's no formal investigation at this time into the toddler's death."

Boy, 2, drowns in Ontario backyard pool

Boy, 2, drowns in Ontario backyard pool: "AMHERSTBURG, Ont. — A tragic spate of child drownings this summer has grown with the death of a two-year-old boy who was pulled from a backyard pool in this Ontario community Friday evening.

Police, firefighters and an ambulance rushed to a home in the Crown Ridge subdivision of Amherstburg, outside Windsor, around 7 p.m. local time, responding to a report that a young child might be drowning.

When they arrived, the boy’s father had pulled him out of the water. The child had no vital signs. He was rushed to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police have not released the child’s name. The investigation is ongoing and an autopsy was scheduled for Saturday.

The boy is at least the seventh Ontario toddler to die in a backyard pool since mid-May, and follows the death of another two-year-old boy, who drowned at a private daycare in Ottawa on Wednesday."

Toddler Twins Drown: A Heartbreaking Water Safety Lesson | The Stir

Toddler Twins Drown: A Heartbreaking Water Safety Lesson | The Stir: "Parental supervision is your first and most important layer of defense, but studies show that supervision can and DOES fail. Parents who believe their children are safe because they 'always watch them' are often the most dangerous, because they refuse to implement the layers of protection that could safeguard their pool.

There are at least five layers of protection. You can read about them here:"

Friday, July 30, 2010

Kids can drown in 20 seconds, experts warn as toll rises

Kids can drown in 20 seconds, experts warn as toll rises:

"OTTAWA — Twenty seconds. That's how quickly a child can drown, marking how fleeting the margin between life and death can be.

And this year, sadly, it has become all too common.

A two-year-old boy who drowned at a private daycare in Ottawa Wednesday is the sixth Ontario toddler to die in a backyard pool since mid-May. The deaths are part of a tragic trend that has seen 75 people drown in the province so far this year — 11 more than last year at the same point.
Nationally, 230 people have already drowned this year, compared to 194 last year at the same date.

'It has been a horrible year for drowning,' said Lesley Anderson, of the Red Cross.

Bad as the death toll on the water has been so far this year, it's almost certain to get worse, said Barbara Byers, the Lifesaving Society's public education director. 'The last 10 days in July and the first 10 days or two weeks in August are usually peak season (for drowning).'"

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pool Safely Educational Video: Pool Fencing

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends that swimming pool fencing be at least 4 feet high and completely isolate the pool.

Twin toddler girls in Mass. drown in family pool - Yahoo! News

Twin toddler girls in Mass. drown in family pool - Yahoo! News: "LYNNFIELD, Mass. – Authorities say twin toddler girls are dead after they drowned in the family swimming pool in Massachusetts.
Essex District Attorney spokeswoman Carrie Kimball Monahan said police were called to the home in Lynnfield, about 17 miles north of Boston, at about 10:20 a.m. Saturday after a report of 'babies in the pool.'
Monahan said firefighters gave CPR to 2-year-old Angelina and Veronica Andreottola before they were taken to Union Hospital in Lynn, where they were pronounced dead."

Prevent Toddler Drowning

Back in December of 2009, the nation was taken by storm over the story of a child who drowned in the family pool on a foggy morning. The mother wasquestioned and condemned for tweeting a prayer request as she was at the hospital waiting for news about her son. More recently, former Eagles QB Randall Cunningham lost his toddler to a drowning in the family hot tub. In every article reporting deaths of drowning, there tends to be a tone of condemnation towards the parents. Instead of that, we should take lessons away about how to prevent them, whenever possible.

If one were to search the web, “toddler drowning,” thousands of news stories will appear. In nearly all of them, the reporter often notes things such as there was no fence, the parent was in the house, or on the phone, or some other detail that while factual, also seems to suggest “Why did this parent not prevent this drowning?” Without being in a parent’s shoes, during such a time, it is impossible to pass judgment. Rather than doing that, remember what can be done and educate yourself and count your blessings that it was not one of yours.

As the summer continues, more parents will be taking their children into the backyard to their own swimming pools, to local lakes and beaches, to city pools and so forth. Even in the off-season, drowning can occur. It is an important child health and safety topic. Professor Joseph Torg, a professor at the Temple University School of Medicine, has some simple but important tips for preventing drowning in toddlers.

Firstly, he says, we should understand that children do not drown like those shown on television shows and movies. “It happens quickly, silently, and without notice. Once submerged, children become disorientated and oblivious to the change in environment from air to liquid.” A parent most likely will not hear their child flailing and calling for them because that is not how it happens.

Professor Torg offers the following tips for prevention:

  • Be aware. Keep an eye on your children at all times, especially at crowded areas, such as city pools
  • Teach children to swim by age five
  • Use fences and pool covers to secure area
  • For non-swimmers and those under the age of five, use wading pools or a Coast Guard-approved life vest.
  • For any bodies of water with currents, for any age or swimming ability, use a Coast Guard-approved life vest.

Professor Torg says “With regard to pools, hot tubs, ponds, streams and rivers, the adage ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,’ is a gross understatement. With drowning, there is no cure.” While parents cannot always stop the unimaginable from happening, taking these steps and continuing to be aware will help reduce the number of lost lives due to drowning.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pool Safety - Summer Fun, Year Round Danger

Home pools are becoming more common every day. They provide an excellent means of recreation for your entire family and friends a large part of the year.

But beware: They are dangerous if not monitored properly.

You must be aware of the potentially hazardous properties of a pool. An accessible pool is more dangerous for your toddler than a loaded gun laying out on your coffee table. In a child's hands eventually it will go off! But unlike the gun going off and where the bullet will strike, the outcome with a toddler falling into a pool undetected is almost certain.

Just how serious is the problem? Drowning is the number one cause of death for children under five in Florida, Arizona, and California with a ranking of number two for over a dozen other states. For every drowning there are eleven near drowning incidents, according to government statistics; many of which result in totally disabling brain damage.

The majority of the parents involved were responsible people who thought it could never happen to their family. They were careful and had close supervision over their children. Many were in good income brackets, educated, and could afford nice homes with pools in family oriented communities. So we are literally talking about people who could live next door to you.

If drowning were a disease it truly would be referred to as an epidemic with all the public attention and awareness possible focused on an epidemic of such proportion.

A study conducted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to find out how child drowning incidents occur indicates that SUPERVISION CAN AND DOES FAIL.

The investigation by the Commission was directed at children under age five in Arizona, California, and Florida who had drown in home swimming pools. The results might help you to better understand why drowning is still the number one killer for three states and stands at number two for the nation:

Who was in charge of supervision at the time of drowning?

  • 69 percent of the accidents occurred while one or both parents were responsible for supervision.
  • 10 percent were adults other than the parents.
  • 14 percent were sitters.
  • 7 percent siblings

What was the location of the pool drowning?

  • 65 percent were in a pool owned by the child's family.
  • 22 percent at a relatives
  • 11 percent happened at a neighbor's.

Drowning happens quickly and without warning. There is no cry for help.

77 percent of the children had been seen 5 minutes or less before being missed and subsequently discovered in the pool.

Where were they last seen?

  • 46 percent WERE LAST SEEN IN THE HOUSE prior to being found in the pool. Of these, 15 percent were thought to be sleeping.
  • 23 percent were last seen in the yard, porch or patio, not in the pool area. That's a total of 69 percent that were thought not to be in the pool area.
  • 31 percent were last seen in the pool or pool area.

What activity was the person responsible for supervision involved in at the time of drowning?

  • 39 percent were doing chores.
  • 18 percent socializing.
  • 9 percent were busy on the telephone.

The suddenness of this type of accident and the results it yields is devastating to anyone it touches. When you think pool, think hard core. Even if this is not your personality, you must be an absolute dictator. Let your children know without any doubts, that is your way or none at all.


Supervision is always your primary layer of protection, but as the study shows, 69 percent of the drowning incidents occurred when parental supervision failed and there were not other "backup layers" in use.

  1. Access doors to the pool area with high locks are a secondary layer of protection.
  2. Alarms on access doors is another layer of protection.
  3. A pool safety barrier (fence) separating the pool from your home and all access doors and entrances is one more layer of protection.
  4. Water survival training for a child when he is capable of crawling or walking to the pool.
  5. CPR and your knowledge of rescue techniques are a final layer of protection should there be an accident.

The goal, with instituted layers of protection, is to come as close to a "fail safe" system of preventing drowning incidents as possible. Meaning that if there is a momentary lapse of supervision for whatever reason, we have several backup systems in place.

All must fail before a drowning can take place. A door has been left unlocked or open, the alarm system or device for the door has been turned off, the pool safety barrier has been left open, your child does enter the water, panics and does not attempt to utilize survival swim training, CPR is administered too late to save the child.


Set down definite pool rules covering its use and more importantly, when it is not in use. We all have a tendency to give a little leeway on this or that with our children, but not when it comes to the pool.

Any door leading to the pool area should be kept locked.

Even if your home is equipped with an alarm system that will beep when perimeter doors are opened, install simple contact alarms on the more often used doors as a further safeguard. Pool Guard makes an excellent alarm designed strictly for access doors to the pool area. This type of alarm must have the button pushed whenever the door is opened and has a delay feature to keep if from sounding off for seven seconds for entering from the inside. It is particularly useful if you have older children who open doors to the pool area. Sliding glass doors should be locked at the top in addition to other locks. In two thirds of the drowning cases studied where children were thought to be in the home, sliding glass doors were either left open or opened by the toddler.

If you own a pool this is a must! Install a protective safety barrier or pool fence that will eliminate access to the pool for young children and pets.

Floating pool alarm devices with remote alarms sounding in the home can alert you to a child falling into the pool. The pool surface, however, must be disturbed enough by the fall so as to set off the alarm. Since these alarms do work off a disturbance to the surface of the pool; your child could quietly walk down the steps, go under, drown, and never disturb the alarm or set it off!!! They are quite inexpensive (around $100) and better than nothing at all since they do detect some accidental falls if adjusted and placed properly. Alarm batteries and function should be checked often to increase the safety margin and effectiveness of this type of device. If this is your choice of protection; be sure the model you purchase has a remote alarm that will sound in the house and a local alarm that will also alert someone near the pool area.

Another type of alarm on the market is designed to detect motion in the pool area with an infrared beam. These alarms are independent of your burglar alarm systems and are designed to be easily mounted outside without doing electrical work and have a remote alarm in the home that can be plugged into any electrical outlet. Optek is one manufacturer of this type of alarm.

Have your toddler trained for pool survival when he is able to crawl or walk to your pool.

This is introductory training to the water that is not intended to actually teach him to swim, but more to provide the toddler with the necessary skills to help survive an accidental fall into the pool. He should be taught to negotiate to a wall or steps and know how to get out. His final lesson might include his being knocked unexpectedly into the pool fully clothed. Do not be alarmed, the child's reaction is being monitored to help determine if the lessons have been effective by using this simulated "panic situation". This type of survival training can usually be very effective after just a week of daily lessons. From our own experience with both methods and other parents we have spoken with, this method is considerably less traumatic than other methods.

Another method of water survival training is to teach the child to roll over and float on his back. It also is effective and has been taught successfully for many years. Be certain that he is also taught how to get to the side of the pool and hang on or get out in addition to learning to roll over and float.

You can determine which method will best suit your needs and the situation.

All types of survival swim instruction must be reintroduced to the toddler after a period of not being in the pool; as in over the winter months.

Whichever way you go, do not be lulled into thinking that your child can have open access to the pool area. Remember, this is just one layer of protection.

Every layer of protection possible must be in force at all times or the system is compromised.

If you have read or been told that your child cannot be taught water survival until age three because he is incapable of learning at an earlier age, might get ear infections, that it "leads to a false sense of security for the parent", or that such training is ineffective "because 55 percent of toddlers who drown had received survival swim training," please think for yourself!

Your child can be taught survival swimming and will retain it during water active months with practice.

If you do not have your child in the water over the winter months, particularly a child under age 3 years, he will require a refresher to "remember" what was learned the summer before. This will usually take only a few days to accomplish and then you can proceed on to have him learn additional techniques or start actual swimming lessons.

Yes, a large percentage of children who have drown did have survival swim training, what the statistics cannot show you is how many have survived a fall into the pool because of this training (many adults who drown could also swim). As to the "false sense of security", most parents will not even leave a toddler alone in a bathtub much less knowingly let their child near the pool unsupervised. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's study revealed that 75 percent of the victims of drowning were among 12 and 35 months of age. For these children, 3 years old will never come.

Take the time to learn CPR and accident procedures. If not your own child, you may be able to save someone else's. Many local hospitals have programs for this type of training.

Do not leave a toddler or young children in the pool or pool area without adult supervision. Older children are not always as sensitive to the dangers of drowning when it applies to others.

A mother told us that she was scolding an older brother (6 years old), as she snatched her coughing 18 months old out of the pool where he had walked off the steps while she was away for a moment. His answer was innocent "But I could see his eyes were open and he wasn't crying." Hope the point has been made.

Never go into the house to answer the telephone and leave a child unattended in the pool area. Numerous drowning incidents are associated with the answering of a telephone in the house while the pool was in use by children.

A telephone installed at the pool area or the presence of a remote unit, on the other hand, could prove to be an invaluable aid in the event of an accident.

Do not leave objects in the pool that could attract your child. Children who would not normally go near a pool because of fear may not even think about the water if they are in pursuit of a favorite toy in the pool.

"Staging platforms", such as tables and chairs, should not be kept near the pool fence.

Allowing the pool area to be used as a play area is as bad as letting young children play in a busy street or with poisonous chemicals. Isolating the pool area to be used for swimming only is the most essential concept of drowning prevention.

If you miss your child always check the pool first, even if access is thought to be restricted, then look elsewhere.

In a drowning accident seconds can make the difference between death, recovery, or just survival.



Removable safety fencing has proven, over the past thirty years, to be the most practical and effective barrier against pool drowning short of putting up a permanent rail fence.

The concept is simple. Isolate the pool from your home and eliminate all access to the water by a toddler. For the pool to be truly isolated and the barriers serve effectively, there must not be a reason to open the pool fence other than to use or service the pool itself. That means not having to open the pool fence to go out a screen enclosure door or into your backyard. These areas should be accessible to you without opening the swimming pool fence. The more times a fence is opened, for a reason other than to use the pool, the greater the possibility that it will be left open for whatever reason.

Pool fence is constructed of see through, polyester mesh mounted on aluminum or fiberglass support poles. The fence is placed into aluminum or plastic sleeves installed into your deck surface. The bottom border of the fence material should be flush to your deck so as to prevent a child from pushing under. The basic principal that keeps pool fence in place is bilateral tension and the fence should be checked periodically to insure that you have benefit of its full function.

A standard pool fence is removable in approximately twelve foot sections. Each section can easily be rolled up and weighs only eleven pounds. The average one hundred foot fence can be removed in less than fifteen minutes and be put back up in approximately the same amount of time. Most fences, however, are never taken down until children in the home are old enough not to require this safe guard any longer.

Having a party with young children present? Think twice about removing the fence. Family gatherings and social affairs contribute to distraction and drowning accidents involving young children. So that the pool fence does not have to be removed for day to day use of the pool, a "gate" section is provided at the steps or another convenient location. A pool fence "gate" is formed by two connecting sections that can be opened by an adult. Extra sleeves are placed into the deck at this point to act as pole holders when the "gate" is open.

SELF-CLOSING, SELF-LOCKING GATES: Self-closing, self-latching gates are automatic and provide better protection if there are folks in the house that can't remember to close a gate behind them. Because it does not have to be physically closed or locked by the user it is a more practical option when there are older children in the home who have unsupervised access to the swimming pool . A self-closing gate and its lock are mechanical devices located outside and subject to corrosion, wear from use, misalignment, and mechanical failure. Extra care must be taken to insure that the gate is functioning properly. Be sure that your gate is always installed to swing out or away from the pool or water.

How high should your pool fence be? Pool fence ranges from 3 1/2 feet to 5 feet high. For an average toddler we recommend you look at the 4 foot height. A child capable of climbing a 4 foot high fence will most likely also be able to go over 5 feet. It's just a longer fall down the other side. A child with this kind of capability should already be well into a swimming program.

We talk to parents moving into a home with a pool for the first time who are nervous about a six year old around the pool accidentally falling in. Since a six year old can go over any height fence and the fence is being installed to basically keep them from just falling into the pool by accident, we would recommend a shorter height like 3 1/2 feet as long as this is the only child in the household.

How far apart should the fence support poles be? Support poles provide both tension and strength for the fence, so the less distance apart the better. We normally recommend 30 inches as a standard if you are making any turns with the fence at all. For straight runs, like across a patio, 36 inch pole spacing should be adequate.

What mesh material is best? The majority of pool fence manufacturers today use polyester mesh with vinyl coating. It is a continuous basket weave construction and is the strongest method today for manufacturing pool fence. The smooth vinyl coatings are mildew resistant and allow easy cleaning of the finished product, unlike the grainy finishes of older style dipped interlocking nylon products that had a tendency to trap both growths and dirt. The newer polyester meshes are also much more resistant to punctures and are virtually impossible for even an adult to rip.

Should the mesh be bordered? To be a finished product your pool fence mesh should also be bordered on all four sides with vinyl border. Not only does this provide a finished look to your fence but also prevents unraveling of the mesh itself. Check the border material to insure that it has visible reinforcing built into the vinyl to provide additional strength to the fence and eliminate sagging over time.

Remember, the fence should block off all access from the home to the pool. Half way measures here are like playing "Russian Roulette". The only time the fence should be opened is when you are using the pool. Children learn quickly to operate door locks and open doors that have not been locked. Your last layer of protection to the pool should be your pool fence.

Do not forget your "fail safe" minimum of five layers of protection against drowning.

Adult supervision, locked doors, perimeter door alarms, the pool fence, and swimming lessons. All five must fail before your child can drown in your pool.

Learn even more about your primary layer of protection, removable mesh pool fence, by clicking here.