Near drowning prompts call for caution
By Lenny Roberts
The child in this report died Thursday at Cottage Hospital in
Santa Barbara. His obituary can be read on the obituray
The updated condition of a 2-year-old
boy who fell into a family swimming pool late Thursday afternoon
was not released by medical authorities, but the boy, Kevin Fillo,
had been transported to Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbra hours
after the incident.
The Sheriff's Communication Center in Ventura received a call
from the mother of the boy at 5:48 p.m., indicating a possible
drowning. The victim's mother, said Sheriff's Public Information
Officer Eric Nishimoto, was administering cardio-pulmonary resuscitation
when deputies and paramedics arrived.
The child was transported to Ojai Valley Community Hospital where
he was revived. He was listed in stable but guarded condition
before being transferred to Santa Barbara.
Barry Fisher, administrator for the county's Emergency Medical
Services Agency, said pool safety should be a priority.
"Drowning is a preventable accident. It just takes a second.
We like to use the slogan 'Children Drown Without Sound,'"
As the summer months approach, the EMS Agency is starting its
second year drowning prevention campaign with a goal of reminding
parents and caregivers of various safety tips to prevent this
type of tragedy from occurring.
Last year, there was a decrease
in drowning or near drowning of children in the county between
the ages of zero to four, compared with a total of 7 incidents
countywide in that age group the year before.
As part of last year's campaign, the agency mailed out postcards
to all 25,886 pool owners located in the county. In the period
2001/2002, that same age group accounted for a total of two drowning
or near drowning.
EMS reminds parents and caregivers of the following tips:
Maintain adult supervision
* Never leave children alone near the water.
* Don't rely on swim lessons
or inflatable toys to protect your child.
* Designate a "Child Watcher" at all social gatherings.
Utilize Layers of Protection
* Enclose your pool with four-sided fencing, at least four feet
high, with self-closing and self-latching gates.
* Install safety alarms and locks on all doors and windows leading
to your pool area.
* Be sure everyone knows how to swim.
* Keep rescue equipment, a telephone and emergency phone numbers
by your pool. Try not to use a cell phone if possible.
The Emergency Medical Services
Agency will also provide free child-watcher kits, which consist
of a laminated card that contains safety tips on one side, and
the words "Designated Child Watcher" on the other.
The card is worn by the designated child watcher as a reminder
to stay by the pool.
Additional information may be found at vchca.org/ph/ems.
The Ojai Valley News
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