A 3-year-old girl was transported to a hospital after falling into a hot tub at an Aliso Viejo home. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, firefighters responded to reports of a child underwater at a residence on Alisal Court the afternoon of August 26, 2017. Someone at the home where a birthday party was being hosted had spotted the girl at the bottom of the jacuzzi and pulled her out of the water. A physician who was at the home performed CPR on the girl.
By the time a fire crew and ambulance arrived, the girl was breathing and appeared to be alert. But the girl’s mother said she was still acting lethargic. She was transported to an area hospital to be treated for possible water inhalation. It is not clear how the girl fell into the hot tub and whether she was being supervised at the time.
Drowning and Near Drowning
About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 years and younger, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for near drowning or nonfatal submersion injuries. More than 50 percent of drowning victims treated in emergency departments require hospitalization or transfer for further care. These near drowning incidents have the potential to cause severe brain damage that may result in long-term disabilities such as memory problems, learning disabilities and permanent loss of basic functioning.
Symptoms of Water Inhalation
When a person first begins to drown, the body’s initial reaction is to close the larynx and seal the trachea, called a laryngospasm. Water inhalation symptoms follow a laryngospasm and may include severe coughing (indicating the airway is sealed by the larynx), chest pains (an indication of dry drowning), sluggishness or confusion and death. Sometimes when a victim loses consciousness, the larynx relaxes, allowing more water to flood the lungs resulting in “wet drowning.” The larynx may remain sealed until the person dies of a cardiac arrest, which is known as a “dry drowning.”
Better Safe Than Sorry
A number of these swimming pool accidents and hot tub accidents occur because of lack of proper supervision particularly when the poolside is crowded for a party or a gathering. It is important that party hosts either appoint a lifeguard or ensure that there is an adult supervisor for every child in the gathering. If your child has been injured in a swimming pool accident due to someone else’s negligence, please contact an experienced Orange County personal injury lawyer to explore your legal rights and options.