UPD detective speaks about near-drowning rescue of Riverton toddler

Posted at 9:27 PM, Jun 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-07 23:28:17-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- In the backyard of their home, a Midvale family had just installed an above ground swimming pool. It was supposed to be a fun summer activity but turned into a moment of tragedy when parents found their two-year-old daughter face down in the water Monday night.

“Parents started CPR and Unified Fire Authority took that over when they arrived and they were able to get a slight pulse, but she had aspirated water. It was an extremely critical situation.” said Unified Police Department spokesman Lt. Lex Bell.

Police say the toddler is now in very critical condition at Primary Children’s Hospital. They say the two-year-old climbed a ladder that was against the pool and fell in.

Police say this serves as a grim reminder as the weather warms up.

"You've got to be overly protective and overly responsible about water,” Bell said.

It was a lesson one Riverton family learned firsthand a few weeks ago when their 13-month-old fell into a beverage cooler with only six inches of water and nearly drowned. UPD Det. Shane Laycock was the first responder to the home.

“That’s where I saw a child just lying on the deck completely lifeless,” Laycock said.

The detective started chest compressions while the little boy’s family watched and hoped for a miracle.

It was a moment, Laycock said, he’ll never forget.

“My heart was racing -- obviously I can see the mother and the fear in her eyes,” he said.

Shortly after the boy was flown to the hospital in extremely critical condition.

But Laycock said the boy fought and made a miraculous recovery.

“It’s something I’ll always remember and hold close and personal,” he said.

The detective said his heart breaks to hear of these cases.

“You have to be proactive as a parent and you have to find those dangers and pitfalls even if they see like they wouldn’t be a problem,” Laycock said.

Police encourage everyone to learn CPR and block any access to pools when you're not using them.