Apr 28, 2011 8:30 PM
Tucson - Two years ago Rose Bennett took her son, Ethan, to a summer day camp. Swimming was part of the program and their lives were changed forever.
"When they pulled him out of the water he wasn't breathing and his heart had stopped beating," says Rose.
She says, there was not an official lifeguard on duty and the adult who started C.P.R. was not certified. Paramedics arrived and Ethan was rushed to U.M.C. He was on a ventilator for a week.
Two years later, at the age of eight, Ethan cannot walk or speak.
"The doctors tell me that his mentality is that of a 2 year old," his mom says. She gives him constant care.
"He eats through a G-tube. He drools because he has a hard time swallowing and a lot of times will choke or aspirate on his saliva."
But what upsets Rose the most is that Ethan doesn't get play with other kids. -
"He will watch kids. And he'll move his legs and he'll want to participate and he can't."
Tracy Koslowski with Safe Kids Tucson Coalition reminds us how important it is to have a designated adult supervising every swimming pool.
"In the water, it's scary. You know, kids are laughing and playing, splashing. There's a lot of noise and stuff like that but a drowning is silent. You don't hear when a child slips underneath the water."
If you take your little ones to any kind of swim program, Rose has a message for all parents. Ask if the staff is C.P.R. and first aid certified.
See if they're trained in water safety and she says, "Don't just take anyone's word for it. I asked those questions. And I ask that people actually look at someone's CPR certification card."