Safe Kids water safety event
By lkidder - June 6, 2018

By Larry Kidder | Michelle Parker, MA, program specialist for trauma transport services at Loma Linda University Medical Center, stands next to a table representing the number of water submersion emergencies for children in the counties of Riverside and San Bernardino (left side), as well as the number of drowning deaths in San Bernardino County during the past year (right side). Scroll down for more event photos.

Representatives from Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital and Safe Kids Inland Empire met with parents, children, and the local press at LLU Drayson Center pool to highlight water safety on Wednesday, June 6.

LLU Children’s Hospital is the only dedicated pediatric hospital in the Inland Empire, an area which represents 25 percent of California’s landmass. Within the past month, Children’s Hospital has already received five drowning victims—a surge in comparison to recent years.

Drowning incidents can be drastically reduced by educating parents and children about the principles of water safety. Safe Kids Coalitions across the U.S. address water safety, as well as other child safety issues such as the use of carseats, the benefits of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms at home, and the use of helmets and personal floatation devices.

At the beginning of the summer swim season, water safety is especially important to ensure the enjoyment of water while avoiding the hazards.

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Shamel Abd-Allah, MD (right), pediatric critical care specialist at LLU Children's Hospital, interviews with a reporter from the San Bernardino Sun newspaper (left). During the morning, Abd-Allah shared the medical implications for children submerged in water for various durations, what life after a drowning might be like for those who survive, and how LLU Children’s Hospital is equipped to care kids who have survived a near-drowning. Looking on is Briana Pastorino, senior media relations specialist for Loma Linda University Health.

A camera operator for NBC-4 in Los Angeles films the inside of an American Medical Response (AMR) ambulance specially equipped to work with children who have suffered a submersion emergency.

The NBC-4 news van and a fire rescue vehicle parked in front of Drayson Center caused some curiosity among Drayson Center members.

Victor Bannis (left), respiratory care supervisor at LLU Children's Hospital, and Theresa Doran (center), adminsitrative charge nurse in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at LLU Children's Hospital, talk with Kelsey Culler, director of public relations for LLUCH, during the event. Both Bannis and Doran are members of the trauma transport team at LLU Children's Hospital.