SPENCER, Iowa (AP) --- A 6-year-old boy who was unresponsive when pulled from a pool in northwest Iowa last week has died.

Police say Michael Rohan died Sunday. He was found floating in the water at the Spencer Aquatic Center on Wednesday.

Michael first was taken to Spencer Hospital and then flown for treatment in Sioux Falls, S.D.

His death has been ruled an accident. He'd lived in Spencer.

EARLIER STORY

SPENCER, Iowa --- Police are crediting a patron at the Spencer Family Aquatic Center with saving a 6-year-old who nearly drowned Wednesday afternoon.

The boy was submerged in water when someone nearby noticed him below the surface, said Spencer police Chief Mark Lawson. A lifeguard and bystander performed CPR on the boy, who did not have a pulse.

"It's just an extremely unfortunate sequence of events where this 6-year-old got in water that was over his head," he said.

He was flown by helicopter to a Sioux Falls hospital and was in intensive care Thursday morning, police said.

Officials would not release the names of the boy or people involved in the rescue. They also wouldn’t disclose where the boy was taken.

No one answered the phone Thursday afternoon at the pool. A voicemail recording said the facility was closed.

(13) comments

IowanAtheist

Hopefully the lifeguard and pool get fined for negligence, since they were clearly not paying attention. The child should have been noticed by a lifeguard far earlier.

dfrank5775

[quote]IowanAtheist said: "Hopefully the lifeguard and pool get fined for negligence, since they were clearly not paying attention. The child should have been noticed by a lifeguard far earlier."[/quote]
___________________________________________________________________________________

How would you know? You weren't there. Some people are just _________________________________.(fill in the blank)

IowanAtheist

[quote]dfrank5775 said: "___________________________________________________________________________________How would you know? You weren't there. Some people are just _________________________________.(fill in the blank)"[/quote]

Granted, I did make the assumption that the child's HEART STOPPING was caused by something. The obvious assumption, since no further details given, was that it was *not* black magic, and the paper was accurate in stating that the suspicion was drowning as the cause. The child should *not* have been unsupervised long enough to lose consciousness, let alone have the heart stop beating. The lifeguards are paid to watch the swimmers, and should have noticed at the first signs of a swimmer in distress -- not the first signs of a corpse floating in the pool.

IowanAtheist

So even the police are stating that the lifeguard did not do their job. I think I am going to fill in your blank with 'correct', since it turns out I was spot on with my initial assessment.

Waterloo'an

Their is no mention in this article that the cops accused the lifeguard of any wrong doing. In my experience, the pools are generally overcrowded (100+ kids) with minimal lifeguards (3 to 4). The lifeguard cannot have their eyes on every kid, every minute, that is why it is also the responsibility of the parent/care taker to be watching the kids. Are you hoping they get fined for negligence?

wloofan2000

Always gotta blame someone... The only people at fault are the boy for going in too deep and the parents who are responsible for him. If they trusted a lifeguard to be the surrogate parents then that is their problem. Too many kids to watch and most drownings happen subtley, not big splashing scenes.

IowanAtheist

[quote]Waterloo'an said: "Their is no mention in this article that the cops accused the lifeguard of any wrong doing. In my experience, the pools are generally overcrowded (100+ kids) with minimal lifeguards (3 to 4). The lifeguard cannot have their eyes on every kid, every minute, that is why it is also the responsibility of the parent/care taker to be watching the kids. Are you hoping they get fined for negligence? "[/quote]

The police stated a bystander pulled the drowning child out of the pool -- a child that not just *started* drowning, but had been drowning long enough to stop breathing, and have the heart stop. Yes, the pool may have been crowded, by lifeguards are trained to watch their section of the pool and watch for signs of swimmers in distress. If they had too few lifeguards to do that, the pool facility, and lifeguards would *STILL* be responsible, since they did not correct the problem. While the parents (or caregiver) do share responsibility for watching the child -- and they are at least partially responsible for this -- the lifeguards are there for a reason and have a responsibility. Both the caregiver and the lifeguard share the blame -- but unless the lifeguard is fined, only the parents have to live with the consequences.

IowanAtheist

[quote]wloofan2000 said: "Always gotta blame someone... The only people at fault are the boy for going in too deep and the parents who are responsible for him. If they trusted a lifeguard to be the surrogate parents then that is their problem. Too many kids to watch and most drownings happen subtley, not big splashing scenes."[/quote]

I disagree. The lifeguards are there to prevent the drowning of patrons -- otherwise, why should we be spending tax money to support the local aquatic division? And to pretend that a 6 year old has the decision making skills to decide to jump into water that is too deep is absurd. The child was 6 -- not old enough to understand the concepts at play here, or even likely to notice how deep the pool is.

The funny thing about lifeguards is that they receive a fair amount of training in recognizing distressed and drowning swimmers, and how to address the situation. So what if the child was not making movie-style splashing? If the lifeguard was actually certified to be a lifeguard by any of the numerous bodies that offer certifications -- the lifeguard was supposed to know what to look for. The lifeguard is *not* just a member of the public with a whistle and a tall chair, they are a trained, certified, and skilled person with a whistle, a tall chair, and a scanning plan for the area they are responsible for.

gkb32
gkb32

The pools/aquatic centers I go to down here in DM have specific rules that state, and I quote, "•Children 9 years and younger must be supervised at all times by a person at least 16 years of age."

This is a horrible and tragic situation. And I'm not sure of the posted rules at this pool. Sure, lifeguards are there to protect. But a 6 year old child should be watched like a hawk by their parent/caregiver. A lifeguard would be a secondary safety net for a child this young.

first amendment

IowanAthiest- Sometimes I think you should be fined for the outlandish comments you make.

IowanAtheist

[quote]first amendment said: "IowanAthiest- Sometimes I think you should be fined for the outlandish comments you make."[/quote]

There is an irony here....

KG52317

If anyone is going to make a direct comment on such a sensitive subject such as this you should at least be informed on all areas before making any accusations about the situation. I will make the assumption based on the comments given that no one was at the facility and privileged to first hand knowledge. If you are directly involved in a situation such as this you are not able to speak of the events or even defend yourself to those who make false accusations or assumptions. That being said I myself was not at the facility but have been a pool professional and a parent for many years. Regardless of your stance you need to realize that water is an unforgiving danger to all ages, particularly children and it is a tragedy for everyone involved.

•Drowning is the leading cause of death for infants
and young children between the ages of 1-4 (U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007)
•Drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional
injury deaths in children aged 1-14 years. (U.S. Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention)
-19% of drowning deaths involving children occur in public pools with certified lifeguards present.
Drowning Prevention Foundation

In 2010 there were 38 drownings in the State of Iowa

Whether you believe the sole responsibility of a child is that of their guardians, a relative, neighbor, or daycare provider - regardless of who that individual is, a responsible adult needs to be directly watching children at all times. That means no distractions including reading, sun-tanning, or talking on cell phones. Lifeguards are in place for prevention, yes they have a certification and extensive training but they are not a guarantee for an individual to not drown. They have training on what a 'standard' drowning victim looks like but they are also taught that no two drownings are the same or have the same characteristics.

"Someone in trouble may struggle at the
surface for just a short time or may quickly disappear beneath the surface without
any signs of distress. Others may be submerged already when the process of
drowning begins, such as the person who has jumped or slipped into water over his
or her head and is struggling to reach the surface...The victim might be able to stay at the surface for only
20 to 60 seconds, if at all.

https://www.shopstaywell.com/OA_HTML/ARCHTML/Lifeguarding_PM_sample_chapter-2012.pdf


The Iowa Health Dept regulates the ratio of patrons to lifeguards for all municipal pools and yearly state inspections.

(3) For open recreation swimming, there shall be at least one lifeguard guarding the pool at all times for up to 30 swimmers in the water; for over 30 swimmers in the water, there shall be at least two lifeguards on duty, one of whom shall be guarding the pool at all times for up to 125 swimmers in the water. An additional lifeguard shall be provided for each additional 125 swimmers in the water or fraction thereof.
http://www.idph.state.ia.us/eh/common/pdf/env/swimming_pool_rules.pdf

Even parents cannot always prevent drownings
-Of all preschoolers who drown, 70 percent are in the care of one or both parents at the time of the drowning and 75 percent are missing from sight for five minutes or less. (Orange County, CA, Fire Authority)

All you can do is take preventative steps such as put non-swimmers in US Coast Guard approved life jackets. If they are swimmers they need to respect the water and have the knowledge of how to stay safe (swim where they can touch, know when they are too tired, swim with a buddy, etc).

All of these recommendations and more can be found at the CDC's website:
http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Water-Safety/waterinjuries-factsheet.html

It doesn't help or change the facts to point fingers for who is a fault, sometimes there is no fault to be found. Education is key and should be the main focus to help prevent future tragedies.

KG52317

Lifeguards are in place for prevention, they are not trained or even capable of preventing every drowning at a facility but they do help significantly lower the chances. Even parents or adults watching children cannot prevent all drownings( look up the statistics, it is eye-opening). The state regulates the ratio of patrons to lifeguards at all Iowa municipal pools including this one. I don't know the details of this situation because I was not there and it sounds like most of you were not directly involved either so placing blame is luckily not your job. However everyone should be able to take from this situation that every age should respect the water and do the best they can to prevent future tragedies. Sometimes there is no one to blame, that is why they call these incidents accidents. If the authorities are calling it that we should do our jobs as the public to respect their professional judgement in this case.

Get the FACTS to educate yourself and others from CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Water-Safety/waterinjuries-factsheet.html

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