3-year-old flown to hospital after near drowning in Lakeland

LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) — A 3-year-old child had to be airlifted to a hospital in Tampa after nearly drowning in Lakeland on Tuesday, according to rescue crews.

The Lakeland Fire Department was called to Thoroughbred Loop West in the Steeplechase Community just before noon and started life-saving procedures on the child, who had a weak pulse.

Emergency responders were able to stabilize the child, who was then airlifted to Tampa General Hospital.

The child was still in critical condition after being stabilized. His current condition is not known at this time.

Investigators say the incident happened in an above-ground pool in the backyard of the home.

According to the Lakeland Fire Department, Florida leads the country in pediatric drownings. They’re asking everyone to take extra caution and provided these safety reminders:

  • Always have constant supervision around all bodies of water, no matter the size
  • Keep children away from pool drains and openings because they can create powerful suction
  • Use locks, gates, doors, fences and screens as a barrier to keep children out of pool areas
  • Designate a “pool watcher,” or an adult who will watch and enforce rules
  • Keep a phone on hand whenever you’re near a body of water so you can call for help in case of emergency

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