Mother Saves Greenwich 5-Year-Old in Near Drowning

The victim was part of a group of mothers and their children attending a pool party.

A Greenwich mother who was trained in CPR is credited with saving the life of a five-year-old Greenwich boy who nearly drowned in a private pool in Riverside Monday afternoon.

According to Greenwich Police, the boy was attending a small afternoon pool party at a Winthrop Drive home in Riverside that included five mothers and eight children, ranging in age from 5 to 8 years old. The children were outdoors in the pool area about 2:30 p.m. on June 23 including the victim who was not wearing a flotation vest but had been using a "noodle" pool toy to stay above the water throughout the afternoon.

Greenwich Police gave this account of what happened:

"At the time of the near drowning, the mothers were inside eating lunch and watching the children through the window when the victim’s mother suddenly ran outside because she said she couldn't see her son anymore. The boy was located below the water line in the deep end of the pool. When he was brought up to the surface he was stiff, appeared blue, and was not breathing.

"One of the mothers who had taken a CPR class took care of the child while 911 was called. The CPR trained mother continued for several minutes when the victim began spitting out large quantities of water. Shortly after GEMS personal arrived the child began to cry and breathe on his own."

The child was taken to Greenwich Hospital and was listed in good condition Tuesday afternoon, according to Greenwich Police spokesman Lt. Kraig Gray.

And police are using the incident to remind residents about pool safety by providing tips from the American Red Cross.

Maintaining a Safe Environment around Your Home Swimming Pool

• Secure your pool with appropriate barriers. Completely surround your pool with a 4-feet high fence or barrier with a self-closing, self-latching gate. Place a safety cover on the pool or hot tub when not in use and remove any ladders or steps used for access. Consider installing a pool alarm that goes off if anyone enters the pool.

• Keep children under active supervision at all times. Stay in arm’s reach of young kids. Designate a responsible person to watch the water when people are in the pool—never allow anyone to swim alone. Have young or inexperienced swimmers wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.

• Ensure everyone in the home knows how to swim well by enrolling them in age-appropriate water orientation and learn-to-swim courses from the Red Cross.

• Keep your pool or hot tub water clean and clear. Maintain proper chemical levels, circulation and filtration. Regularly test and adjust the chemical levels to minimize the risk of earaches, rashes or more serious diseases.

• Establish and enforce rules and safe behaviors, such as “no diving,” “stay away from drain covers,” “swim with a buddy” and “walk please.”

• Ensure everyone in the home knows how to respond to aquatic emergencies by having appropriate safety equipment and taking water safety, first aid and CPR courses from the Red Cross.

Editor's note: the story has been updated to correct the location of the neighborhood to Riverside.

Johnny Walker June 24, 2014 at 05:40 PM
Ironic. This week me and my three year old were reprimanded for trying to wear a coast guard approved Personal flotation device at the Byram pool. The supervisor their advised us that the town of Greenwich had stricter requirements than the coast guard in regard to PFD and that my daughter would be safer with NO PFD than to wear the Type V PFD we bought her. In this Old Greenwich accident, Thank God there were capable and trained adults around who saved this child's life. Waiting for help from the GPD or Gems was not an option.
Sandi June 25, 2014 at 08:49 AM
Why wasn't this child being watched by their parent?
ROSEMARIE RAGBIR June 25, 2014 at 08:57 AM
Kids that age should never be left alone in a pool. An adult should have been in the pool with them. The mothers could have taken turns eating lunch, while a few of them supervised the kids. They could have hired a baby sitter or life guard for 2 hours. Stupid parents!!
Laurie Annunziato June 25, 2014 at 01:31 PM
This is not ironic, simply irresponsible and selfish! To think these mothers would sit inside having lunch and leave 8 young children in a pool with no supervision at poolside ... shame on them!
Chris Webster June 25, 2014 at 10:54 PM
Maybe there is a reason why inflatable PFD's aren't allowed, there must be a reason, a rule is a rule, also parents should be in the low (shallow) end of the pool with their non-swimming children, Wake-up!


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