Two children are recovering Friday after almost drowning at a home pool in Cape Coral Thursday night. The family was visiting from out of state and just got to the house just hours before the drowning scare. A neighbor tried to perform CPR on one of the young boys while waiting for first responders to arrive.
Cape Coral’s chief says CPR is critical to giving someone a chance to live.
“It’s all hands on deck to make sure we try to get flowing and oxygen flowing,” Fire Chief Ryan Lamb said.
Lamb’s team responded to 3-year-old and 4-year-old boy who both needed to be rescued.
“Every moment the child is not breathing … lessens our chance of possibly getting that person back,” Lamb said. “A call for a critical pediatric is one of the most stressful calls that our firefighter-EMTs can go on.”
And, in a drowning call, seconds equal stress: Seconds in the water, seconds not breathing, seconds between life and death.
“Because, if a child slips under the water they can’t scream or cry for help,” Lamb said.
No one with CCFD wants these types of calls to spike or stay common.
“I know one of the female firefighters last night there has a son about that same age, so it’s truly something that can impact individuals,” Lamb said.
Child drownings in Florida happen way too often. Twenty-three kids died in the water in 2019. In less than eight months, 29 more kids have drowned in Florida.
“If you’re home a lot more, there’s a greater opportunity,” Lamb said.
But Lamb said the pandemic is not the only reason kids are dying. Parents must remember the fundamentals of pool and water safety for children, including adult supervision, barriers and learning CPR.
“As much as we try to keep an eye on small children around swimming pools, we know they are quick,” Lamb said. “And it’s difficult to watch them always, so we also want to barriers in place that prevent them from getting towards the pool.”