Infant drowning reported near Pima

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald

Child responded well to treatment

By Jon Johnson

jonjohnsonnews@gmail.com

PIMA – Lifeguarding your children around water doesn’t just include swimming pools or ponds, but bathtubs as well.

An 11-month-old infant was reported drowning in a bathtub at a residence off Cottonwood Wash Road near Pima on Tuesday evening.

First responders were dispatched to the residence at about 5:56 p.m. after the infant was found unresponsive in the bathtub.

According to a Graham County Sheriff’s Office report, the mother advised she had started a bath for the infant and her older brother and then later went to her computer to do her online schooling while the father stayed in the bathroom. However, the father then stepped out of the bathroom to clean up the kitchen and when he went back the infant was found unresponsive in the tub and was purple.

The father pulled the infant out of the bathtub, told his wife to call 911 and began mouth-to-mouth breathing and CPR. By the time emergency personnel arrived at the scene, the infant was breathing and her eyes were open, however, she looked lethargic and was not initially responsive to stimuli, according to the report.

Pima Fire Chief Scott Howell, who was at a controlled burn, responded to the residence along with other EMS fire personnel, paramedics from Lifeline Ambulance, and deputies from the Graham County Sheriff’s Office, and a Pima Police officer. Howell took over the care of the child until paramedics arrived.

The infant was then transported to Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center, where she responded well to treatment. A nurse at the hospital advised that the infant’s lungs sounded clear but they decided to admit her for observations just to be safe.

The infant reportedly responded well to treatment and was breathing normally at the hospital.

The parents advised the bathtub was only filled to the infant’s belly while sitting and that the children had been left alone for less than five minutes.  

Nationally, an estimated 100 drownings occur in bathtubs, with half being infants under 12 months of age.

Experts advise that there is never a safe amount of time to leave an infant in the bath alone and that a child can drown in the time it takes to answer a phone or doorbell.

A Department of Child Safety report was initiated regarding the incident.

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