SUMMER safety for kids

Friday, May 4th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

We associate warm weather with "fun". But, in fact, summer days are the most dangerous on the calendar. KOTV's Scott Thompson says children face alot of risk over the summer.

Kids 14 and under will find the greatest summertime risk in a backyard swimming pool. EMSA dispatcher James Davis took a call Wednesday evening that is all too familiar now that warm weather is here. A Tulsa mother had stepped inside to tend to dinner, and according to the woman's estimate, she returned 30 seconds later to find her two-year old floating in the family pool. Dispatcher talking with caller, "Tell me exactly what happened. My daughter fell in the pool, oh my god; her eyes are rolling back. How old is she? She's two. Is she out of the pool now? Yes. OK where is she now? I've got her sitting on the side, she's making moaning noises, she's moaning. OK, is she alert at all? Hailey, Hailey, no. Is she breathing normally? No, she's acting like she wants to throw up. OK did she have any other injuries? We've got help on the way." The little girl begins to cough, which means she's breathing, and she's OK.

EMSA Training Officer Chris Stephens says that's not always the case. "Lot of times the family will be out there having a good time, the phone will ring Mom and Dad goes to answer the phone, they're thinking I'll just be gone for a couple of seconds, my child will be OK, they come back and then we have a tragedy." Nationwide every summer, about 2,500 children die in accidents, most of them drowning. At least 2/3 of these deaths by drowning are in residential, family, pools and they're to children 4 and under and that means those toddlers, they slip away quietly. Heather Paul with the Safe Kids Campaign says, "Build a fence around a pool, keep a pool cover on it, if you've got a pool, everyone in the family should know first aid and CPR, and never, ever, leave a child unattended, even for a second."

In June, KOTV is sponsoring CPR lessons at five different Tulsa City pools.