Doctors warn of drowning risk as summer approaches

May 09, 2023 - 09:10
Concerns have been raised following the death of a young child.
Children play in a water park. — Photo

HCM CITY — Doctors in HCM City have warned about the heightened risk of child drowning in the city during this season.

Concerns have been raised following the death of a young child.

The three-year-old boy from Bến Lức District in Long An Province fell headfirst into a water bucket just 50cm high.

The child's pupils had dilated, and he lost light reflexes, prompting fears that he may not recover.

It is believed that the boy had been attempting to draw water from the bucket using a water gun when the accident occurred.

The child's relatives administered some initial first aid before transferring him to a local hospital. However, doctors have emphasised the importance of seeking immediate medical attention in such situations to minimise the risk of permanent injury or even death.

Doctors carried out cardiopulmonary resuscitation and transferred the child to Children's Hospital 1, where intravenous fluids, anti-shock, vasopressors, and supportive care for the heart were conducted for three days.

However, the child did not survive.

Earlier, the hospital also received a two-year-old girl in critical condition after falling headfirst into a water bucket and being trapped for five minutes. Fortunately, the girl was saved after being admitted to the hospital.

Dr Nguyễn Minh Tiến, deputy director of the hospital, said in April, the hospital received several drowning and near-drowning cases, with many in critical condition.

He said this is a very common accident among children, especially in summer.

Common mistakes made by parents when dealing with a child who has swallowed water is spending a lot of time trying to evacuate water from the child’s body and warming up the victim, Vietnam News Agency reported, citing local doctors.

Hanging the victim upside down (to evacuate water) is unnecessary and should not be done because, usually, the amount of water entering the lungs is very little.

Many children stop breathing, or their hearts stop, but they do not receive first aid, artificial respiration or chest compressions at the accident site or while being transported to a medical facility.

This causes prolonged oxygen deprivation of the brain and organs, which can lead to death or severe brain sequelae.

It is crucial to perform first aid rescue immediately when the victim is brought out of the water.

To prevent drowning and suffocation accidents, doctors warn parents not to leave young children alone at home, cover all water containers in the house, and not allow children to play alone near ponds, lakes, canals and rivers.

Children should be instructed to swim, and young children shouldn’t be allowed in pools unsupervised.

Despite a decline in the number of children drowning over recent years, it remains one of the leading causes of death among young people.

Việt Nam annually records roughly 2,000 drownings on average, the highest in Southeast Asia and eight times higher than developed countries. — VNS