A family vacation almost ended in tragedy when Alex Morgan's 6-year-old daughter, Darcey, was swimming in the hotel pool and nearly drowned.
Now, Morgan is warning other parents of the unexpected way her daughter nearly died.
"Darcey was swimming under water when her hair got sucked into the filter that operates a waterfall in the swimming pool," Morgan wrote. "Her hair was stuck and she was unable to get up to the surface. She was kept under the water for over 2 minutes."
Morgan said that some witnesses at the pool saved her daughter's life. Darcey's hair was pulled until it ripped and she was given CPR at the side of the pool. The little girl was taken to the hospital, where x-rays and other tests found that she had low oxygen levels and a lot of fluid in her right lung. Her parents were able to take Darcey out of the hospital the next morning, but are still haunted by what could have happened.
"This was the worst day of our lives," Morgan wrote. "We are still suffering to come to terms with it all now but also feel incredibly lucky to still have our beautiful, brave little girl."
What made matters even worse, she wrote, was that the hotel showed no remorse for what had happened and tried to say that Darcey had hit her head instead.
"A large amount of Darceys hair was taken out of the filter after the incident and the Management of the hotel tried to hide this in his pocket," Morgan wrote. "They didn't close the swimming pool, turn off the waterfall and filter or investigate in any way."
Morgan wrote that similar incidents were reported to the hotel lifeguard four times before Darcey was trapped underwater.
"We were later told by staff at the hotel that the lifeguards here are not trained and are there to show a presence," she wrote. "Shocking!"
She and her husband wanted to post about what happened to them in hopes that it saves another family from a similar fate.
"We want to make as many people aware of the dangers in swimming pools as we feel so strongly about this," Morgan wrote. "Myself and Gareth don't want any other parents/ family members to go through what we experienced that day."
While incidents like this aren't common, they do happen enough that the Consumer Product Safety Commission issues warnings about pool drain entrapment and requires that public pools and spas in the United States use anti-entrapment covers.
Between 2008 and 2012 the CPSC reported 38 pool circulation entrapment incidents, two of which resulted in death.
While there isn't much a parent or child can do to avoid incidents like this, the organization does have a two suggestions a swimmer can take to lower the risk of entrapment.
"Make Sure Your Children:
Do not play or swim near drains or suction outlets, especially in spas and shallow pools.
Never enter a pool or spa that has a loose, broken or missing drain cover."
What typically gets caught in pool drains and filters are things like hair, arms, legs, fingers, and other body parts, jewelry, and bathing suits.
The CPSC urges anyone who notices a missing or broken drain cover at a public pool or spa immediately notify a lifeguard or manager.
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