PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Florida - Firefighters from Brevard County Fire Rescue (BCFR) Station 62 were dispatched for a possible pediatric drowning in the 600 block of Sand Dollar Cove in the North Housing area of Patrick Air Force Base (PAFB). Brevard County units were dispatched at 6:45 p.m. and were assisted on scene by PAFB Security staff and PAFB Fire Department according to a press release from BCFR spokesperson Lt. Jeffrey Taylor.
The patient was described as a 15-month old boy who was found in a landscaping water feature near the entrance of his home. According to paramedics, the small "pond" had a depth of less than six inches of water. The patient was transported by ambulance to Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne in critical condition. The scene was turned over to officials from PAFB and an investigation into the accident is likely.
BCFR and the American Red Cross urge all residents, especially parents of young children, to maintain constant supervision of children around all types of water environments no matter their skill level in and around water. Drownings can happen in an instant, often in the time it takes to answer a phone call or step inside for a towel. Drownings are preventable.
According to the Florida Department of Health, Florida loses more children ages 1–4 to drowning than any other state. Florida overwhelmingly led the nation with the highest unintentional drowning rate in the nation for the 1–4 year old age group (with a rate of 6.98 per 100,000 population) for 2007-2009.
For more information on early childhood drowning prevention, visit the Florida Department of Health's website at http://doh.state.fl.us/DEMO/