Can-Do-Ability: Answers and Solutions from my personal experiences of living with a disability

Big Brother Saves Toddler From Drowning Thanks To School CPR Classes

12 Jan 2012We hear far too often about young children falling into pools and drowning these days. Once unconscious and the brain begins to lose oxygen, it only takes three minutes for brain damage to start, which can cause permanent disability.

The parents of a 3 year old boy from Sydney had a lucky escape last week, thanks to the toddler’s big brother’s first aid skills, and some quick thinking.

According to Patrick Manassa’s mother, he was only out of her sight for a couple of minutes, when she found him floating face down at the bottom of the families’ fenced pool. She lifted his limp, lifeless body from the water. His lips were blue, and he was unresponsive, until her 17 year old son, Anthony, stepped in to take control of the situation.

Anthony began CPR on the small child, at first there was no response, but after a few attempts at resuscitation, Patrick began to slowly breathe on his own. Whilst working on reviving his brother, other family members and friends called triple zero, and were waiting for emergency services to arrive.

Anthony calmly continued to work on his baby brother until paramedics and CareFlight crews arrived to take over. Patrick was flown by helicopter in a critical to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, where he was placed into an induced coma.

Patrick awoke from his coma the next afternoon and smiled at his mum. His father has stated that his young son has already been up and about, eating, drinking and talking. They feel so blessed that they had a good outcome for their family, when things could’ve turned out so much worse. They are declaring it a ‘miracle’.

No one else in the household knew how to perform CPR, but luckily for them, Anthony had learnt his skills six months earlier, in his PE class at school. This is something that should be compulsory in all schools, across Australia.

In Australia, between July 2010, and June 2011, 28 children under five drowned, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Most of these accidents could’ve been avoided, if more people were trained in CPR.

The Daily Telegraph, together with St John Ambulance and Royal Life Saving Australia, has begun a campaign to make it compulsory for all school students to learn CPR in school. They’ve started a petition, which can be signed at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/telegraph-campaign-for-certified-cpr-training/ - if approved; this could potentially save thousands of lives each year from drowning. It could also prevent even more near drowning incidences which occur each year causing permanent disablement.

To view the miraculous story of young Patrick, and how he narrowly escaped death, click here: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/sydney-nsw/teen-student-saves-toddler-brother-from-drowning-with-cpr-he-learned-at-school/story-e6freuzi-1226236860310 - at the end of this story, there were comments from other readers, who provided some great tips about children and water safety. I think these tips should be heeded by all parents and carers of young children.

. Teach your children to hold their breath underwater – you could start by practicing in the bath tub.
. Teach them how to relax in the water, and float on their back.
. Tell them that if they do fall into a pool, to turn around and try and reach for the edge.
. Enrol your children in swimming lessons.
. Never EVER leave them alone near water.
. Make it a point to check your pool fences once a month.
. Remove anything that could assist a child over a pool fence.
. Remove anything attractive – like pool toys – from the pool when everyone gets out.
. Don’t rely on other children to watch your child; it’s not up to them.
. If you own a pool, learn CPR.

Siblings; Patrick with his hero big brother Anthony

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