MedStar: Drownings approaching record levels this summer




Posted on August 21, 2012 at 6:33 AM

FORT WORTH - Two seconds is too long.

That's the message MedStar wants parents and babysitters to hear as they take children to swimming pools. Emergency workers say they're trying to prevent a record number of drownings or near drownings this summer.

"She just kept saying over and over again, 'My baby's not breathing, my baby's not breathing,'" MedStar dispatcher Sarah Moore said.

Moore took the frantic call from the mother of three-year-old Marcus White.

White had fallen into the pool at an apartment complex in east Fort Worth. His mother had briefly gone inside with her two-year-old child. When she came back outside, Marcus was not breathing.

"At one point, I told her it'd be easier if she'd calm down," Moore recalled. "She said, 'You don't understand, this is my baby.'"

The toddler died at a hospital.

"We hear all the time, 'I only turned my back for two seconds,'" Moore said. "That's too long. This time frame is too short, kids get into trouble."

Last summer, MedStar crews responded to a record number of 28 drownings or near drownings. This year crews have already responded to 24.

MedStar said the troubling trend is one every pool-goer has the responsibility to stop.

"It takes a village," Moore said. "When you're at the pool if you're an adult, constantly watch that water -- not texting, doing things distracting to you."