Children’s of Alabama seeing more child drownings

Published: Jul. 2, 2021 at 10:41 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Children’s of Alabama is seeing an increase in child drownings.

Pediatric Emergency Medicine Dr. Alicia Webb said they normally see child drownings during summer months, but they saw less during the pandemic with more people inside. She said now that people can safely gather, drownings are spiking back up again.

She said children five and under are the most at risk for drownings, but they do happen with older children and adults too. She said even strong swimmers can drown.

So far this year in Jefferson County, there have been four fatal drownings and three were adults.

Dr. Webb said pool drownings are the most common they see in the emergency room, but she said it can happen in bathtubs, lakes, oceans, inflatable pools, and toilets.

“If it is safe to do so, pull the child out of the water,” Dr. Webb said. “If there is someone trained in CPR at the scene, that is something that can be really helpful. We find that having early CPR is life saving.”

Dr. Webb said for pools or bodies of water without life guards, designate a “water watcher”. She said that is someone who is not on their phone or distracted and is just focusing on the kids swimming.

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