06/19/11 — Pediatric leader urges child water safety

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Pediatric leader urges child water safety

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on June 19, 2011 1:50 AM

After two children were admitted to the hospital after nearly drowning during the past week, Dr. Dave Tayloe of Goldsboro Pediatrics issued a reminder about the importance of water safety.

They were separate incidents, the physician said, but were still too close for comfort.

"One child was 9 months old and was in a non-Coast Guard-approved flotation device," Tayloe said. "He was apparently in some sort of inner tube with a supporting seat and toppled over and spent enough time underwater before an adult could pull him out that he needed poolside CPR and transport to Wayne Memorial Hospital's emergency department. He did fine but required in-hospital observation/evaluation/ treatment for 24 hours.

"The other child was 4 years old and was in a local motel pool when he was found at the bottom of the pool and pulled out. He was able to cough and throw up water and mucus and did not need CPR. When he arrived at the emergency department of Wayne Memorial, he had signs of pneumonia and fever so he was admitted for evaluation, treatment and observation. He has done well."

The situation should serve as a reminder of how quickly a child can drown, Tayloe said.

"We know that if your brain is without oxygen for four minutes, you're highly at risk for permanent brain damage," he said. "And both of these kids, they couldn't swim.

"Luckily, both of them did just fine. But we did admit each of them (for having water in the lungs). "

While these were both close calls, some are not as fortunate, Tayloe said.

"We also have a patient in our practice who, at age 2 years, suffered severe brain damage secondary to near-drowning in the family pool," he said. "He required tracheostomy ventilation and gastrostomy tube feeding and around-the-clock nursing care at home and does not interact in any way with the people in his life. Very sad."

But hopefully such information can serve to prevent others from experiencing such a tragedy, the pediatrician said.

And with summer here, whether families go to the beach, are at a motel or community pool, or simply in the bathtub, it's important to take precautions.

"It doesn't take much water -- let parents know right here in our community, we have had two of these in the last week," he said. "Children who cannot swim well need to be in the grasp of adults at all times when they are in a pool."