The Dangers of Children and Water

For many people, enjoying the Labor Day holiday will involve being in or around water. But if you have little children, medical experts are warning you to be extra careful. Bill Stamps reports.

Most parents of small children already know that taking your eye off a child for just a minute can spell disaster, especially when you’re around water. Still, every year there are heart wrenching stories of children drowning in family pools or public pools, sometimes with adults nearby. James Johnson is a nurse at St. Joseph Hospital. But it was while off duty, recently, at an apartment complex that he recently saw firsthand the dangers of kids and water.

“The Mom and Aunt were putting some stuff up and basically turned away for minimal time and their smallest boy who is 22 months, his name is Nathan, somehow got back into the pool and he didn’t have his floatees on, which he’d had on all day.”

One of the relatives pulled the boy from the pool and began doing CPR, but Johnson says there was so much chaos with the family members, that CPR wasn’t being done right. So Johnson stepped in and took control. Shortly after, the toddler gasped for air.

“Sort of just came back to life and started choking a little bit and started crying. I guess the most amazing thing is I could see in his eyes. He was glazed over when he was pulled from the pool. It was horrific. But next thing, I could see life coming back into his eyes. It was amazing.”

Johnson says it was an experience he’ll never forget. And with many Houstonians heading to the lake or barbequing by the pool today, he’s urging adults who are supposed to watching children to be very careful.

“Basically, just make sure that they have their life vest on and it’s an approved life vest. Number one from the time you get out of the car to the time you get back in the car. Don’t take any chances. Talk to your kids let them know if you go here, you’re going to be in danger. If you take this off, you’ll be in danger.”

Last year 112 children drowned in Texas. Some of those occurred in the child’s own backyard, some in the family’s bathtub. Federal statistics show that children under one year most often drown in bathtubs, buckets, or toilets, while children from one to four years old most often drown in residential swimming pools. Experts say just about all of the deaths can be prevented.