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Local Doctor Warns Of Dangers Of Young Children Drowning

Pennypack Creek search file photo (credit: CBS3)

Pennypack Creek search file photo (credit: CBS3)

Michelle Durham Michelle Durham
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By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – As Bensalem, Bucks County officials continue their search for two teenage boys who were swept away by the swift current of the Neshaminy Creek (see related story), a local doctor sounds the alarm about the dangers of drowning.

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Professor of Pediatrics Dr. Brent King says the highest risk population is really young children who can drown in a small amount of water.

So, he says, parents need to be mindful because “inflatable water wings and other kinds of inflatable toys…they are toys. Children who are in pools who cannot swim well probably need a real flotation device.”

Also at risk are teens and tweens who decide to swim in creeks and streams.

“We’ve had a very wet springtime,” King said. “Creeks and rivers are flowing. They are deeper then they were. They are flowing faster and you can easily get swept away.”

Males are statistically more likely to drown then females and Dr. King says sometimes adults mistake the splashing and flayling of arms for play and not drowning.

He adds if someone is pulled from the water they need medical attention:

“Particularly if they have been pulled out and required a rescue breath or it’s taken a minute for them to come around. Those people absolutely need to be seen even if they seem to otherwise recover normally.”

That’s because there could be extra water in the lungs.

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