Child narrowly escapes drowning in tub

OKEECHOBEE — A young girl very narrowly escaped death thanks to the quick action of her grandmother and a deputy with the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO).

OCSO Deputy Lieutenant Shane Snyder was sent to a home on S.E. Fifth Street around 6:35 p.m. Tuesday, June 27. He was told a child had drowned in a bathtub.

When he arrived the child’s grandmother met him at the door and ushered him to the living room where the 30-month-old girl was lying on the floor.

The grandmother returned to performing cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) while Lt. Snyder checked the child’s vital signs.

“I stopped the CPR because I could see the child was breathing and I could hear the heart beat when I placed my ear against her chest,” stated the lieutenant’s report.

Okeechobee County Fire/Rescue arrived on the scene and medical personnel took the child to the Raulerson Hospital emergency room.

According to Lt. Snyder the grandmother had reportedly turned away from the girl and her brother as she spoke to someone else in the house. The children were upset because their grandmother would not allow them to go swimming, noted the deputy’s report.

When the grandmother went looking for the children she reportedly found the girl lying face down in the bathtub. A wash cloth had been used to plug the drain and the water was still running, stated Lt. Snyder.

The grandmother pulled the little girl out of the tub, took her to the living room and called 9-1-1. She then started performing CPR.

“I checked the tension on the bathtub faucet handles and noticed the hot water side was hard to turn. The cold water side turned with relative ease,” noted Lt. Snyder. “Based on my observations, it appears that either child could have turned the water on — possibly in an attempt to swim.”

He then concluded his report by saying the incident was an accident.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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