Thursday, December 23, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Vitalice Dieujuste: Family of Boynton toddler who almost drowned thanks police - South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com
"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
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
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.''
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Parents told to take safety steps to prevent drownings - Emergency Services - News - The Manly Daily
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
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
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."