Doctors warn of increased number of child drownings

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by AMY JOHNSTON / KVUE News

kvue.com

Posted on June 25, 2010 at 9:17 AM

"Colin was the best son ever.  He was my best friend," said Jeff Holst.

That was until two years ago when 4-year-old Colin drowned in what seemed to be the most unlikely scenario: at a Lifetime Fitness pool in South Austin.

"On June 13, 2008, Colin drowned in a pool, surrounded by friends, lifeguards and a family who loved him dearly," said Holst.

Which is why he is working to educate all parents about how to keep kids safe.  On Tuesday, he teamed up with Dell Children's Medical Center.

"People have the idea that a drowning incident occurs with lots of screaming and splashing and cries for help...and there's time.  In reality, there's not time.  Most of these young children just slip under the water and are never heard from again," said Dr. Pat Crocker.

In the past 2 1/2 years Dell Children's has treated 99 children involved in near drowning incidents; 17 of those died.  Already this year, 17 children have been treated and 2 have died.  Experts say there is no substitute for constant adult supervision.

"Colin had taken swim lessons for every year of his life, since his first parent and tot lesson class," said Holst.

But that still couldn't save little Colin.  Now his dad wants to make sure no-one has to go through what he did.

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