A boy under the age of 10 has been confirmed dead after a suspected bathtub drowning at a home in the Adelaide suburb of Banksia Park. Emergency services were called to the home around 5:50pm.
The child’s death has been ruled as ‘non-suspicious’ and, at this stage, there are not a lot of details about what exactly happened.
Two drownings in three days in SA
However, the tragic news comes just days after another boy, aged nine, drowned at the Waikerie Swimming Centre in South Australia. Nine-year-old Cyrus Buck was pulled from the public pool unconscious around 3:30pm. While there was a giant inflatable obstacle course in the water, sources have said the inflatable course was not related to the drowning.
A fully-trained lifeguard immediately jumped into the pool to try and save Cyrus but both the lifeguard and paramedics were unable to revive him. Paramedics rushed Cyrus to Waikerie Hospital but he later died. The pool closed for the remainder of Saturday and offered its condolences to the boy’s family.
“Our thoughts are with the family involved as well as the lifeguards, first responders and others present at the time,” a post by management said.
Mum Central sends our condolences to the families of these two young boys. With summer approaching, it’s important that we give ourselves a refresher course on water safety, whether at home, in the backyard, at a public beach or pool or anywhere else where there’s water.
Water and Pool Safety
Actively supervise children around water. Limit distractions when the kids are playing in the water including mobile phones.
Another important thing is to nominate who is watching the children in the pool. Often, especially at parties or gatherings, adults will all be nearby but no one is the designated “supervisor'”.
Take the time to point out who is on ‘pool watching duties’ and rotate this role around. This is also the case for parents on bathtime duties – never assume the other parent is doing it. Communicate and be clear.
Restrict children’s access to water. If you do have a backyard pool, make sure you have a council-approved pool fence and a gate that self-closes. Remove any pool toys, chairs, benches, etc that could act as a ‘step’ to get into the pool or open the gate.
In addition to the backyard pool, there are other water safety considerations around the house. Bathtubs are a big one. Even large eskies can be problematic for curious toddlers as can water fountains, open drains, dams, water tanks and buckets. Wading pools should also be fenced if they are over 30cm in depth.
Another important thing to remember is that inflatable pool toys can be dangerous as well. Read this mum’s warning after her son nearly drowned under an inflatable toy.
Teach children water safety skills. You’d be surprised how many parents admit they are not confident in their children’s water skills. Plenty of swim schools offer summer courses. If money is an issue, take a look at Swim it Forward where you can apply for free swimming lessons for your kids. More information is here.
Learn how to respond in the case of an emergency. Have a read of St John’s First Aid Guide which goes through the motions of what to do if you come across an emergency water situation.
Dry Drowning and Secondary Drowning
Two other things to be aware are ‘secondary drowning’ and ‘dry drowning’, two VERY rare complications of a close call.
Dry drowning occurs when water never reaches the lungs but inhaling the water causes the vocal cords to spasm and close up.
Secondary drowning occurs when water reaches the lungs. The water irritates the lungs’ lining and fluid can build up, causing a condition called pulmonary edema.
In both these instances, you may notice your child appears to be okay after a near drowning but then starts to struggle. Symptoms to watch for include;
- breathing difficulties
- chest pain
- extreme tiredness
If your child has any breathing problems after getting out of the water, get medical help.
Swimsuit colour chart
Another useful resource is this swimsuit colour chart which showcases what each colour of togs looks like underwater in both a lake and public pool. Orange, pink and yellow swimsuits were the most visible.