A 4-year-old boy is recovering at Stevens Hospital tonight after nearly drowning in a swimming pool at a Mountlake Terrace apartment complex this afternoon.
Firefighters responded at 4:33 p.m. to a report of an unconscious child in the pool at the Northern Lights Apartments in the 4400 block of 212th St. SW. The boy’s father pulled the boy from the water, immediately started CPR and the child had regained consciousness by the time firefighters arrived.
“Paramedics believe the father’s quick action helped save the boy’s life. The boy was breathing, but still very pale when firefighters arrived,” said Leslie Hynes, public information officer for Snohomish County Fire District 1, which provides fire and emergency medical service in Mountlake Terrace. “Also, we had very quick medic response. Our medics were on the scene within four minutes and had the boy at Stevens Hospital just 13 minutes after the 9-1-1 call was placed.”
The boy and his family had been visiting friends at the apartment complex when the near drowning occurred. The father told firefighters he had been in the pool watching the 4-year-old and an older child playing on a floating toy just prior to the incident.
“Drowning can happen in a matter of seconds as this case illustrates. The father went to the deep end of the pool to dive in. Before making his dive, he saw that both children were playing on the toy. He told firefighters he dove in and had his head underwater only a few seconds. When he surfaced, the 4-year-old was in the water and unconscious,” Hynes said.
Fire District 1 offers these water safety tips for parents of young children:
- Close adult supervision is key whenever children are in or around water. When there are several adults present and children in or near water, use a Water Watcher card to designate an adult as the Water Watcher to prevent gaps in supervision. While watching children near water, avoid doing things that could distract you such as talking, reading or talking on the phone.
- Put your child in a life jacket when playing in or near the water, on a dock or in a boat, raft or inner tube.
- In all types of water, stay within touching distance of your child at all times.
- Infant and toddler water classes promote water safety and play, but they do not replace supervision. Children are ready for swim lessons at about age four.
- Teach young children to wait for your “OK” before getting into the water.
- Choose areas with lifeguards for swimming and playing. Even with a lifeguard, you will need to watch closely.
- Water wings, rafts or plastic rings are not designed to keep swimmers safe. Never use them in place of a life jacket.