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Drowning danger lurking in pools

THE head of Royal Life Saving NSW urged adults to be alert to the dangers of the holiday season yesterday after another Hunter child had to be rescued from a near drowning on New Year’s Eve.
Nanjing Night Net

An 18-month-old boy was recovering in hospital yesterday after he was found unconscious in a Thornton backyard spa.

An Ambulance NSW spokeswoman said paramedics had been called to Woodlands Drive shortly before 7pm after the toddler was discovered.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation began before paramedics arrived, the spokeswoman said. And the child was taken to the John Hunter Hospital in a critical condition.

Police said the boy had been placed in an induced coma but later regained consciousness.

The child was reportedly recovering well and was in a stable condition last night.

The New Year’s Eve incident was at least the fifth near-drowning with a young child in the region last month.

A three-year-old girl was saved at Aberglasslyn on December13, and a Buff Point child was also flown to hospital after nearly drowning in a pool.

A Belmont child, aged 2, was pulled unconscious from a Sydney pool at the start of December.

Last week, a Warnervale two-year-old was revived by her father after she was found floating lifeless in the pool.

Royal Life Saving NSW chief executive David Macallister said he was unfamiliar with the specifics of each incident.

But December and January, with their special holidays and social occasions, loomed as a dangerous period for backyard pools.

Mr Macallister said adults needed to take turns formally watching children in or around pools.

‘‘Otherwise what the adults tend to do is they gather around the barbecue and they’re in their own world,’’ he said.

Even during short sojourns, such as grabbing a drink or answering the door, children should be out of the pool until a supervisor returned, Mr Macallister said.

He said pool alarms and other equipment, though useful, should only be a contingency.

‘‘There’s no substitute for adult supervision,’’ he said.

Central Hunter police duty officer Acting Inspector Joe Krzanic said it was another timely reminder for parents to remain vigilant with their children around pools this summer.

He said police were making inquiries but the incident was not being treated as suspicious.

Royal Life Saving NSW chief executive David Macallister

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