Adrienne Moore noticed that the active toddler wasn’t being watched closely enough, especially at a crowded pool.
As Fox 13 News reports, Moore was at the Recreation and Aquatic Center in Moab, Utah for the Fourth of July. The mom was at the pool to celebrate the holiday with her children, but her attention was caught by a 3-year-old boy who kept running away from his parents.
Moore told Fox 13 that when she noticed the toddler, she couldn’t decide if she should tell someone he wasn’t being well-supervised. In the end, she decided to try to keep an eye out for the young boy herself:
“‘Should I say something? Should I not? Should I mind my own business?’ Of course, you look back and think, ‘Oh, I wish I would have said something.’ But the right people were there at the right time.”
As the day went on, the toddler escaped the eyes on him and nearly drowned. Moore was watching as lifeguards pulled the unresponsive toddler from the pool and began CPR:
“It was quick. It was so fast — seconds, it felt like. He did have a tint of blue on his skin … He started to move a little bit. Everybody clapped. A lot of us cried. I mean, you think of your own child, and it just scares you to death.”
The toddler wasn’t breathing and had no pulse when he was rescued from the water. Thanks to the efforts of the lifeguards and an off-duty hospital worker, he was revived. He was taken to the hospital and released later that day.
The boy is expected to fully recover. Moore told Fox 13 that she thanked one lifeguard in particular, who had performed CPR during the emergency:
“I told her how amazing she was. I mean, she was really emotional after the adrenaline had worn off. They brought him back. It was awesome to witness.”
According to the American Red Cross, drowning is the second most common cause of death in children between ages 1 and 4 in the United States, second only to birth defects.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends starting swim lessons as soon as children are ready. In addition to securing pool and water areas, the AAP advises constant supervision of young children in and around the water.
Parents should stay within arm’s length of toddlers and young children whenever they are near water. Also, one adult should be designated as the “water watcher,” especially during group gatherings at pools, lakes, or rivers. Finally, young children should be equipped with a life jacket whenever in, on, or near a natural body of water. If they lack swimming skills, a life jacket should also be worn at pools and water parks.
Finally, parents need to remember that drownings can be quick and — contrary to expectation — quiet. As the aquatics manager for Salt Lake County told Fox 13:
“Anyone under the age of six is really at a high risk. Drowning is something that happens silently. They aren’t able to yell out for help.”