Hospitals Teaming Up to Prevent Drownings

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DES MOINES, Iowa - Two Des Moines hospitals are joining forces to prevent drownings and near drownings.

Mercy and Methodist Hospitals came together hoping education is the key to saving lives.

"We see drowning`s near drowning`s every year but this concentration of so many victims in such a short amount of time is scary," said Dr. Ricardo Flores from Blank Children's Hospital.

In the last week between the two hospitals there have been six near drownings and one drowning.

Officials say the most important thing to do it not take your eyes off a child near any body of water.

"Somebody should be watching the child at all times.  Someone should be near enough that they should be able to touch them and that person should not be someone engaged in a party, alcohol usage, fireworks or any other activity," said Dr. Tom McAuliff  from Mercy Medical Center.

Recent rainfall and storms have caused flooding in creeks, lakes and rivers.

With the holiday weekend approaching more and more kids will be near water, and parents need to ready to act in case of an emergency.

"The initial resuscitation is the most important when you pull someone out of a body of water is to start working on them immediately,  it is so important, You don't want to run and ask for help you need to start CPR if they need it, mouth to mouth if they need it," said Dr. Flores.

In 2012, there were 43 drowning deaths in Iowa.  Nationally, it's the number one cause of injury-related death for children under four.

Officials are hoping these statistics and the recent spike are enough to keep everyone safe this holiday weekend.

"Submersion injury can take place, anytime to anyone," said Dr. McAuliff.

Officials say every caregiver should be CPR certified.

The American Red Cross offers classes for a fee that include specific training for pediatric life-saving techniques.