On Thursday, May 9, at 12:29 p.m. Heartland Fire & Rescue responded to reports of a drowning in the 400 block of Nila Lane in El Cajon.
"An 18 month boy, in the care of his grandmother, was found by his grandmother in the Jacuzzi area of an unfenced pool in the backyard. Heartland fire crews arrived within five minutes of the call," said Monica Zech, spokeperson for the city of El Cajon. "They immediately started CPR and regained a pulse. The child was transported to Grossmont Hospital and then transferred to Rady's Children's Hospital."
The child was listed in critical condition according to Carlos Delgado, spokesperson for Rady's.
The weather is warming up and children gravitate toward water, so take precautions. Remember--a baby can drown in as little as one inch of water.
See below for water safety tips from the Centers for Disease Control.
CDC - Tips to help you stay safe in the water:
*Never leave a baby - child alone in a bathtub, never leave buckets of water around, lock toilets lids, watch children around ponds, spas, pools, lakes, beaches etc.
*Supervision is important and have extra layers of protection: When in or Around Water. Designate a responsible adult to watch young children while in the bath and all children swimming or playing in or around water. Supervisors of preschool children should provide *touch supervision*, be close enough to reach the child at all times. Because drowning occurs quickly and quietly, adults should not be involved in any other distracting activity while supervising children, even if lifeguards are present. (such talking on the phone, reading, watching TV, etc)
*Learn to Swim. Formal swimming lessons can protect young children from drowning. However, even when children have had formal swimming lessons, constant, careful supervision when children are in the water, and barriers, such as pool fencing to prevent unsupervised access, are still important.
*Learn Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). In the time it takes for paramedics to arrive, your CPR skills could save someone*s life.
*Air-Filled or Foam Toys are not safety devices. Don*t use air-filled or foam toys, such as "water wings", "noodles", or inner-tubes, instead of life jackets. These toys are not life jackets and are not designed to keep swimmers safe.
*Avoid Alcohol. Avoid drinking alcohol before or during swimming, boating, or water skiing. Do not drink alcohol while supervising children.
*Don*t let swimmers hyperventilate before swimming underwater or try to hold their breath for long periods of time. This can cause them to pass out (sometimes called *shallow water blackout*) and drown.
If you have a swimming pool at home:
*Install Four-Sided Fencing. Install a four-sided pool fence that completely separates the pool area from the house and yard. The fence should be at least 4 feet high. Use self-closing and self-latching gates that open outward with latches that are out of reach of children. Also, consider additional barriers such as automatic door locks and alarms to prevent access or alert you if someone enters the pool area.
*Clear the Pool and Deck of Toys. Remove floats, balls and other toys from the pool and surrounding area immediately after use so children are not tempted to enter the pool area unsupervised.
*Use the Buddy System. Always swim with a buddy. Select swimming sites that have lifeguards when possible.
The El Cajon Recreation department is currently offering swim lessons - visit www.elcajonrec.org for more information.