Four children in less than one week nearly drowned in Palm Beach County. In Delray Beach, a five or six-year-old boy was found at the bottom of a pool on Monday, and an hour later a four-year-old boy was found unconscious in a west Boca Raton pool. Also, on Thursday a three-year-old fell into a Boynton Beach pool and was found unconscious. Authorities said that the circumstances of all the incidents are not clear, but CPR was given to every child before the paramedics arrived.
Another Boynton Beach toddler was given CPR by a neighbor who took instructions over the phone from a 911 dispatcher. Stephanie Slater, a police spokeswoman said that the mother of the one –year-old boy was watching TV with him and his three-year-old brother when the toddler slipped away. He got outside through an open sliding door and fell into the pool. The child was rushed to Bethesda Memorial Hospital for treatment of drowning-related injuries.
According to Anna Steward, manager of the county Drowning Prevention Coalition, children aged one through four have the highest rate of drowning in Palm Beach Country due to lack of supervision and precautions. Slater said, “People should take advantage of the opportunity to get certified in CPR because you never know when a situation like this may come about and you have the opportunity to save someone’s life.” Parents should also teach their children how to swim at an early age; swimming classes are available starting at six months old, she said. In addition, Stewart stressed the importance of supervision around swimming pools. For more information on this topic, see Fourth child in a week nearly drowns in a swimming pool.