Outdoor pool drowning incident reminds us to stay alert at all times, expert says

It’s usually a popular place to cool off on a hot summer’s day in a North Kildonan apartment complex, but no one was in the water on Friday after an emergency Thursday afternoon at its outdoor pool .

Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service crews and police say a child was taken to hospital in critical condition.

Sources said it was a drowning, but authorities are not releasing any further updates on the child’s condition for confidentiality reasons, as it is a medical incident.

“At first I saw a whole bunch of people outside running around screaming. I went to check what was outside and all of a sudden I started seeing someone doing CPR, like really fast “said Jude Jacquett, a resident of the complex who witnessed the emergency. “Everyone was panicking.”

It happened at Concord Gardens on Louelda Street around 2 p.m.

Jacquett, 18, saw several people assisting the victim on the pool deck and first responders showed up soon after.

“I felt quite nauseous and quite scared for the person in that situation,” he said.

Residents living in the apartment complex said that in addition to being fenced in, a key is required to access the pool.

Swimming pools in condos, apartments and hotels are considered semi-public by Manitoba Public Health and are not required to have a lifeguard on duty. But they must post signs mentioning it and advise users that children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. The rules some complex residents told CTV Winnipeg that their property managers are clarifying for everyone.

The Winnipeg Police Service is investigating the case, which officers say is standard whenever a child sustains life-threatening injuries or dies. However, investigators said it was still being treated as a medical incident.

Christopher Love, safety management and water smart management coordinator for the Lifesaving Society of Manitoba, said there have been six fatal drownings in Manitoba since January, up from eight at the same time last year. last.

“Drowning does not imply death,” Love noted. “There is an international medical definition of drowning and therefore drowning is the process of experiencing respiratory impairment due to submersion or immersion in liquid.”

Love said 85% of fatal drownings in Manitoba occur in natural bodies of water — such as rivers, lakes and streams — or ditches. But he said swimming in pools is not without risk, especially ones where lifeguards are not present.

“That’s a very small fraction of the cases we see,” he said. “Yet every drowning death is one too many for us and it’s something we want people to think about safety at all times so we can bring those numbers down.”

And he said the best way to do that is to swim in supervised pools. If none are present, Love said it’s important that young children are always actively supervised by an adult and within arm’s reach if they are under seven.

Richard F. Gandhi