Two Recent Near-Drownings Raise Child Safety Concerns

By: Kristin Gordon Email
By: Kristin Gordon Email

TEMPLE (June 15, 2013) -- Swimming pools are the most common site for a drowning to occur for children ages 1 to 4, according to the Safe Kids organization.

On June 12, 2013, a near drowning involving a child occurred at Wildflower Villas, located at 5227 West Adams Avenue in Temple, for a near drowning call involving a child.

The child's mother was teaching another child to swim, looked around and saw her son floating face down in the water.

The child had removed his inflatable water wings and went under water.

She pulled him from the water and started rescue breathing. He quickly responded to her efforts.

On June 10, 2013, Karl Reigle took his kids and grandkids to the Summit Fitness Center, located at 620 Fryers Creek Drive in Temple.

His 4-year-old grandson didn't care much for the adult pool so they stayed by the kiddie pool.

Reigle took his daughter into the adult pool to teach her swimming techniques.

After getting out of the pool, Reigle became concerned. "When I came back to join my other two grandchildren, I noticed the 4-year-old was gone," said Reigle.

He checked the bathroom and came out to find the child laying on the deck of the pool.

Someone had pulled him out of the grown-up pool.

"At that point it is kind of more tunnel vision," said Reigle. "I ran to him, saw that he looked unresponsive and my instinct was to perform CPR. There was possible water in his lungs or he was drowning."

After CPR, the child began to move and become alert.

Emergency responders took the 4-year-old to the hospital for overnight observation.

Reigle was told that pool water can lower electrolytes in your body and you can possibly lead to long-term pneumonia.

Reigle frequently takes his kids to the pool, but this was a first for his grandson.

"I was grateful of the outcome," said Reigle.

"It was also frightening of the possibilities. It can happen to anybody. Even when I thought it would never happen to me. It's a life changing event to make you more aware of stuff that you would take for granted."

Life guards were on duty at the time of the incident. According to Keith Dawson, City of Temple Aquatics Coordinator, Temple lifeguards are Red Cross certified.

They go through 26 hours of written and hands-on training. "There is always a risk for near drowning at any aquatic environments," said Dawson.

"Kids get too close to the edge of the pool and they might slip and fall in. The young ones that aren't paying attention, they will just sometimes run and jump toward a family member or friend."

According to Dawson, whether you go to a place with lifeguards or a lake, river or backyard pool, it is very important to get some type of water safety awareness.

"Before jumping into the water, make sure there is nothing at the bottom of the water," said Dawson.

"Unless they can fully stand up in the water, I would recommend always direct supervision of them."

Reigle's grandson has made a full recovery and is ready to get back into the water.

"My grandson is ready to go back to a pool, but says 'only if his grand- pappy is with him,'" said Reigle.


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