Each year, about 1,500 young people drown in the U.S. As we all know, a drowning can occur nearly anywhere. Yet, the natural inclination is to believe that one will not happen in our own community, especially at our own camp. Awareness of the threat's reality is critical. Reinforcing proven prevention strategies is an essential element in protecting the kids in our programs. Both are the goals for our “Aquatic Alert” program. Each alert is a brief treatment of the topic, focusing on a real, recent, public event, gleaned from the media… reprinting the published article in its entirety – omitting names and identifying references to the YMCA – and providing a few important teaching points for you to share with your staff. As always, if you need additional guidance on this topic, please call us at 800-463-8546.
SOUTH: 06/08/2008 – A day of summer fun ended in a tragedy Sunday. A 7-year-old boy died while swimming at the [branch name] YMCA.
The young boy was identified as [name] who was from [near-by state] but was spending the summer with his dad in [city].
[Victim] did not necessarily drown. Witnesses said he was going up and down the slide several times, and he could have bumped his head on his final trip down.
The YMCA spokesman, [name], said preliminarily it appears the child was underwater only moments. He said the child slid into the pool, went straight to the bottom, was noticed immediately by friends, and then pulled to the pavement by lifeguards.
CPR was immediately administered and a defibrillator was used on the 7-year-old. Paramedics and fire fighters were on the scene within five minutes; however, the child was unable to be saved. An off duty registered nurse also attempted to save [victim].
“I have a son who is 8-years-old myself. Our thoughts and prayers are with this family right now,” said [YMCA spokesman].
“At this time we have no idea whether this drowning was brought on by a medical condition, by the child striking his head. No one actually seeing the actual event, if there was an event where he hit his head take place. There's speculation,” said Sgt. [name].
Officials also said that the slide is under surveillance, and they hope that surveillance video will give some information about how [victim] died.
SOUTH: 06/09/2008 – Metro Police: An autopsy conducted today on the body of seven-year-old [victim] confirms that he died accidentally by drowning. [Victim] had no trauma to his body that would have contributed to his death. Likewise, no health issues were discovered.
[Victim] suffered distress Sunday afternoon in the slide area of the outdoor swimming pool at the [branch name] YMCA. Surveillance video from the
YMCA reviewed today by Youth Services Detective [name] shows periodic images of the pool from two angles. It does not show [victim] entering the water. It does, however, show a child summon a lifeguard at 2:07 p.m. The lifeguard immediately dove into the pool and brought [victim] to the surface. It is not known how long [victim] was in distress prior to the lifeguard being notified.
[Victim] was from [nearby state], but was spending the summer with his [city] father, who lives on [street].
SOUTH: 06/17/2008 – A [branch name] YMCA lifeguard has resigned and another is on paid leave while an investigation continues into the drowning of a 7-year-old boy, said [name], a spokesman for YMCA [association name].
Both guards were placed on paid leave after [victim], an [nearby state] youth visiting his father in [city], was found at the bottom of the outdoor pool two weeks ago.
The lifeguard who resigned chose to leave on his own, [YMCA spokesman] said.
A lifeguard pulled [victim] from the water shortly after 2 p.m. June 8. Two other lifeguards and a registered nurse using the pool assisted with CPR.
The boy was pronounced dead at [name] Medical Center.
The medical examiner said there was no trauma to the boy’s body and he had no underlying health problems.
Nevertheless, the child’s death is still under investigation, [YMCA spokesman] said.
YMCA officials are working closely with [name], an insurance underwriter considered expert in aquatic safety, training, and accidents, he said. A report is due in a couple of days.
“They are interviewing witnesses and sorting through the timeline,” he said.
The pool closed briefly after the drowning but has reopened.
Please call us at 800-463-8546 to discuss this or any other risk management safety tip, or visit our web site at www.redwoodsgroup.com to learn more about camp risk management issues.