Parents Preventing Childhood Drowning Presents: Sunday Survival Stories: In an Instant
Every Sunday, we will share a story of a non-fatal drowning, discuss where things went wrong, and give some pointers on how to prevent it from happening to the people you love. Thankfully, these stories have happy endings for those involved, but sadly, we lose too many people to drowning every year. We hope examining these real-life stories help put the dangers of water into perspective and help you introduce various principles of water safety to your family!
Today’s story focuses on the recovery of 2yr old Adelaide Friske, who drown in her backyard pool in California. Thanks to her parents and emergency crews, Addie makes a full recovery from her experience.
If you read our Sunday Survival Stories regularly, you may be able to pick out the layers of protection we are going to discuss today. All of these have been mentioned in other articles, but this story is important- it helps to show that it happens to everyone, it happens all the time, and it happens quickly. It also shows that Layers of Protection could have prevented it.
1- Drownings can happen during non-swim times, with multiple adults around. Many home drownings occur when people are not actually swimming. This family was going through their regular daily routine- feeding children, playing, normal afternoon schedule. Mom thought dad had the kids, dad thought mom had the kids.
2- Always check the water first. Any time a child is missing, you should check the water first. Children are naturally attracted to water and many see it as a fun time instead of a danger.
3- Know CPR. According to the article, mom and dad performed CPR on Addie for approximately 11minutes before EMS arrived on scene, it was 30 minutes after she was found before she was in the ambulance heading to the hospital, and we don’t know how long she was in the water before being found. We know CPR needs to happen quickly for drowning victims and has a big impact on survival rates. This may have been a very different story if the parents had not been able to perform CPR for those 11 minutes.
4- Barriers are important. While not specifically mentioned in this article, it does not sound like the pool was separated by a fence or alarm. By not having the pool fenced off, a door innocently left open now becomes a gateway to danger. Creating a barrier from pool entry would have added an extra layer of protection here.
We are happy that Addie was found and is heading home safely. Please use Addie’s story to look around your home today and find ways to implement layers of protection to prevent drownings!
Drownings can happen in an instant, even when swimming is not intended. Have fun, be safe, and implement layers of protection!