Mum walked away for just seconds to get her son an iceblock, when she returned to find him floating unconscious in their backyard swimming pool.
Zac Daniels, 3, remains in The Children’s Hospital at Westmead but is expected to make a full recovery following the incident at his home on in Seven Hills about midday on Wednesday, shares SMH.
Zac’s grandmother, Irene Ekes, said the boy’s mother had left him unattended in the pool for “two seconds” to go inside. Zac was wearing a floatie in the above-ground pool at the time, she said.
“She [Zac’s mother] went inside to get him an iceblock. When she came back the floatie was on top of him,” Ms Ekes said, breaking down as she described what had happened.
“There was a lot of screaming. A neighbour was there, who helped.
“I can’t believe it, my little baby. He is such a happy boy too, who loves water. Unbelievable.”
Ms Ekes said the family was “devastated” by the incident.
“It’s terrible. I never want my grandkids to have a pool ever again.”
Zac was unresponsive when he was found in the pool and neighbours performed CPR on the child before emergency services arrived, a NSW Police spokeswoman said.
After paramedics took the boy to hospital, a distressed man could be seen in the backyard of the house slashing the pool with a knife to let the water out.
UPDATE 24 January 2017
Zac’s mother has said it was unrealistic to spend money on fencing the pool.
Despite government guidelines stating above-ground pools to be treated as in-ground pools if they are 30cm or taller, Zack’s mother, who did not wish to be named, disagreed, reports The Daily Telegraph.
“A lot of people have these small overground pools,’’ she said.
“The reason so many people have this pool is because it’s affordable, it’s what we can afford, it’s what everyone had.
“You’re not going to pay hundreds of dollars for fencing for a pool that you paid $100 for, it doesn’t make any sense.”
A Blacktown Council spokesman said the council had been unaware there was an above-ground pool at the home and was unable to check if it was in compliance with the state’s regulations.
But is has since written to the property owner, the Land and Housing Department, requesting the pool be fenced or removed.
“The tenant should have sought permission from the landlord, and if granted, there would have been a council pool inspection to make sure it was safe and complied with the regulations,” Blacktown Mayor Stephen Bali said.
“Accidents only take a split second, but the results last a lifetime.’’
Zac was one very lucky little boy and has made a full recovery since the incident.
The statistics are horrifying
The 2016 drowning report from Royal Life Saving found between 1 July 2002 and 30 June 2015, 83 drowning deaths in private pools were recorded.
The key findings related to appropriate supervision, pool fencing and emergency care.
• Supervision was completely absent in 59% of cases, with older siblings or other children left to supervise younger children in 6% of cases
• Among cases where it was known how long a child was left unsupervised for, 33% of children were left unattended for 5-10 minutes and 30% were left unattended for 3-5 minutes
• Among cases with information on fencing available, fencing was present in 27% of cases, absent in 27% of cases and faulty in 35% of cases
• Among cases with available information, children most commonly gained access to the pool through a faulty fence or gate (38%), lack of a fence (31%) or a gate which was propped open (18%)
280 PEOPLE DROWNED IN AUSTRALIAN WATERWAYS BETWEEN 1 JULY 2015 AND 30 JUNE 2016
Kidsafe Victoria’s summer pool safety tips:
•Never take your eyes off children around water; if you have to leave the water area for any reason, take the children with you.
•Appoint an adult as a designated supervisor, including at BBQ’s and pool parties. Never leave toddlers in the care of older children.
•When you are supervising toddlers, ensure that you are within arms’ reach at all times.
•Ensure that your pool safety barrier is secure and in proper working order.
•Never prop the pool gate open, this allows children easy and often unsupervised access to the pool area.
•Learn CPR and update your skills regularly. Resuscitation posters kept near pools are a good reminder.
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