OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (WATE) — Lifeguards at Oak Ridge‘s Outdoor Municipal Pool on Saturday were able to prevent the near-drowning of a 5-year-old girl after she was pulled from the water unconscious, according to the City of Oak Ridge.
The child had been in the water for an unknown amount of time when lifeguards pulled her out; initiating cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR since she wasn’t breathing. After three rounds of CPR, the child began to expel water and was able to breathe again on her own.
Soon after, Oak Ridge firefighters arrived on the scene and found the child was alert and breathing. While they monitored her, she continued to vomit water and told staff her name. EMS then took her with her mother to the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital for further evaluation.
“The lifeguard staff, and any bystanders that may have helped, should be commended as their actions undoubtedly saved this young girl’s life,” Captain Steve London of the Oak Ridge Fire Department said.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death among young children. The latest drowning data from the CSPC show an increase in pool-or spa-related fatal drowning incidents among children younger than 15 years old.
On average, there were 397 reported pool-or-spa-related fatal drownings per year for 2016-2018, involving children younger than 15 years of age; with 75% of the reported fatal drownings from 2016-2018 involving children younger than five years of age – 83% of these were at residential pools.
The Oak Ridge Outdoor Municipal Pool, which is located at 172 Providence Rd., is owned by the City of Oak Ridge and managed by the City of Oak Ridge Recreation & Parks.