A mum has warned about a “tiny” swimming pool danger after her daughter nearly drowned.
Carolyn Maertens, of Ontario in Canada, wrote on Facebook on August 29 that she and her husband Nathan were watching their kids who are “great swimmers” play in the pool. She added they also do surf lifesaving and know basic first aid.
“We were standing next to the pool chatting to each other when our youngest daughter said something, I thought she was talking to her friends and we didn’t hear what she said but while she spoke she gurgled like water was in her mouth,” she wrote.
“Both of us moved toward her to see what was wrong. We realised that one of the pool jets had sucked her hair in and was pulling her under.”
Ms Maertens explained that her daughter had her hair tied in a ponytail at the time. Mr Maertens tried pulling the girl’s hair out of the jet while her mum ran to turn the jets off.
“Before I could get to the pool pump it had pulled her right under the water while her dad was pulling as hard as he could to free her,” she wrote.
“Between Nathan pulling and the pump being switched off she was ok and we pulled her out the pool shaken but safe.
“It all happened so fast we could have missed it, and it could have been too late.”
Pool jets are listed as one of six reasons listed by the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network a child could drown in a swimming pool, but the only listed precaution is adult supervision.
Ms Maertens added the jet her daughter’s hair got pulled into “is tiny”.
“I can barely fit my baby finger into it and it nearly drowned our child,” she wrote.
“For some reason some pools have one jet that sucks in water rather than blowing it out, apparently it can be used to vacuum the pool.”
It is unclear how common these jets are in Australian pools.
“It looks harmless and the pool company said lots of pools have them, because of this I wanted to share what happened to us,” Ms Maertens wrote.
“They can be shut off or you can buy a cover for them but please don’t think they’re harmless, please be aware.”
Her post was shared more than 21,000 times.
According to Royal Life Saving Australia’s National Drowning Report for 2019, 276 people drowned in Australian waterways between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019. Eleven per cent of those drownings were in swimming pools.
For more information on how to be pool safe this summer click here.
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