On June 9, EMS was called to the Escalon Avenue home of a toddler in the late afternoon. The little boy ventured outside into his backyard and nearly drowned in an inflatable pool. His mother found him unconscious. Life support measures were administered.
Toddlers develop their gross motor skills to include walking, running, climbing, throwing and riding. They are naturally curious and use their new skills to explore their environment. At this age, toddlers can open doors, gates, drawers, bottles and boxes. They become easily distracted and lack judgment. They do not fear heights, depth of water, heat from flames, volatile materials, electricity and animals. Because of the newly developed ability to wonder and perform fine and gross motor skills, toddlers are at risk.
Males tend to get injured more, but the overall incidence of injury peaks in this age group. The major cause of injury is related to environmental factors, such as hazardous structures, drowning and pools of water among other things.
Toddlers are at the highest risk of drowning across the lifespan of children. They do not have the developmental ability to swim, nor can they keep their heads above water, or know how to get out of water. Young children can drown in very shallow water, including pails of liquid, toilets, bathtubs and baby pools. Drowning is the second leading cause of deaths related to injuries after motor vehicle accidents. According to the CDC, children between the ages of one and four years of age are more likely to drown in swimming pools and hot tubs. Mortality rates secondary to drowning are three times higher for males. Approximately 78% of drowning victims are male. Unlike adults, young children do not call out for help while in distress, they generally drown silently. Near-drowning accidents can result in permanent brain damage. For every child that drowns there are approximately five near-drowning episodes in children. Drowning is the second highest cause of injury-related deaths in children between the ages of one and nine years old.