Thomas Abramo, M.D., professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine and director of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, said the Emergency Department has seen almost five times the number of children involved in drownings or near-drownings.
Nineteen children involved in swimming pool accidents have been brought by either ambulance or helicopters. Eight of those children died. Last year over the same period, four children were treated, resulting in one death. Emergency Department faculty and staff have treated three near-drownings over the past four days.
“This is a crisis and parents need to focus and keep a constant eye on their kids.”
“This is a crisis and parents need to focus and keep a constant eye on their kids,” Abramo said. “All of the cases involved a situation where it appears that the person responsible for watching the child took their eyes off them, even if for a second.”
Abramo said caretakers should not be looking at e-mail, texting, or even talking on the phone.
“Watch the child and make that the only thing you do,” he cautioned. “Otherwise you may very well be one of those parents in our pediatric intensive care unit worrying about the life of your child.”
Nicole Flynn is one of those parents. Her 19-month-old son is critically ill and is on life support in the Pediatric Critical Care Unit after a near-drowning at the child’s father’s home.
“He got away for just a second,” Flynn said. “I want to warn all families to watch their children. We are grieving so bad.”
Flynn said the above-ground pool where the accident happened has now been destroyed.
“Parents, please, do what you can and do not turn your back,” she added. “A pool isn’t worth having if this happens to your child.”
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