A 3-year-old boy in Orange County has survived a near-drowning incident after his older brother rescued him from the bottom of a swimming pool the afternoon of February 1, 2009. According to this news report in The Orange County Register, the boy’s family was visiting a home at Via Divertirse in San Clemente.
Officials said the toddler’s 7-year-old brother, who saw him at the bottom of the backyard swimming pool, dove in and pulled his brother up. The 3-year-old was said to be breathing when paramedics arrived. The toddler is apparently recovering after the near-drowning, but the extent of his injuries is not known.
I’m extremely relieved for the young boy, his family and the hosts who were apparently entertaining this family over the weekend. I wish the young boy the very best for a quick and complete recovery. This family will certainly be in my prayers.
Although it is extremely fortunate that this child did not drown, near-drowning incidents are serious because in these cases, oxygen supply to the brain is cut off, which can leave a child with lifelong brain injuries. Medical expenses in a near-drowning incident could easily run into millions of dollars. Almost every summer, our firm represents a family whose loved one drowned or almost drowned because of the negligence of a homeowner.
Southern California, especially, is notorious for California swimming pool accidents obviously because of the abundance of pools and good weather. Los Angeles County has more than 200 near-drowning incidents a year. And Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties together account for half of all near-drowning incidents in California.
In this San Clemente near-drowning incident, I would be curious to find out the relationship between the guests and the hosts. Who was watching the children? Was the 3-year-old left unsupervised? Was there a gate around the pool? If yes, was that gate locked or secured? This incident once again shows us all the importance of having adult supervision at the pool. Without question the 7-year-old boy was a hero for having jumped in and saved his brother’s life. But the question is: Where were the adults? And who would’ve helped the 7-year-old if he had gotten stuck at the bottom of the pool?
Please remember that if a child drowns or almost drowns in your backyard pool, you could be held liable for the accident, injuries or wrongful death. Swimming pools are a great resource, but they can also be a liability. If a child drowns in your backyard pool or suffers serious injuries under your watch, you could be held liable. Also remember, it takes but a few minutes – sometimes a few seconds – for a child to silently slip underwater and become unconscious. These drownings or near-drownings, if they don’t result in death, could result in