“1 second was all it took”: QLD mum’s warning about pool inflatables

Posted in Safety.

Just over a week ago was the worst day of Queensland mum, Shae Marr’s life. Her three-year-old son Costa was happily swimming in the pool when suddenly he started drowning. The culprit was an inflatable pool lounge and now she wants to warn other parents about just how dangerous they can be.

“1 second was all it took”

Swimming is a national pastime for most Australians but for little Costa from Emerald in Queensland it almost ended his life. According to his mother Shae, who posted about the incident on Facebook, her three-year-old had been swimming supervised in a backyard pool on Saturday 3rd November and having a great time, having recently learned to swim without a vest. But then disaster struck.

“…one of those inflatable lounges went over him and he wasn’t strong enough to be able to keep himself up. He was only under for a second or 2 but must have gone under when he had no air in his lungs and took a breath under water. 1 second was all it took,” wrote the clearly shaken up mother in the post.

I wasn’t going to share the details of what happened but I want people to learn from my mistake and TAKE INFLATABLES…

Posted by Shae Marr on Sunday, 4 November 2018

Rescue operation

Thankfully someone else swimming in the pool noticed what had happened straight away and pulled Costa out, however, the nightmare was far from over.

“He vomited some water and within seconds lost consciousness and started frothing at the mouth. His lungs were full of water, he couldn’t breathe and went completely purple,” said Shae.

The friend and Costa’s father, Mick, performed CPR before the ambulance arrived which just saved the little boy’s life in the nick of time, but he still wasn’t out of the woods. Although he was breathing and had opened his eyes, Shae said he was “lethargic and struggling to remain conscious.”

Read more about water safety:

Struggling to thrive

Apparently, the lack of oxygen had caused metabolic acidosis to occur (where too much acid forms in the body), and Costa’s lungs still had water in them. He was given oxygen but then started to get a temperature, prompting medical staff to want to fly him to Brisbane for specialist care, however, luckily his vitals improved and he went to the local Rockhampton hospital instead.

Frighteningly there was STILL the worry of secondary drowning and pneumonia. However, amazingly by the morning, the family’s horrific ordeal was over.

“By some miracle, he woke this morning 100% himself and the doctors were happy for him to go home.” said a relieved Shae.

Posted by Shae Marr on Saturday, 10 November 2018

“Learn from my mistake”

Thankfully this story has a happy ending. Costa has fully recovered and is already back swimming in the pool again – although this time with his vest firmly back on as mum Shae isn’t taking any chances. And doesn’t want others to either.

“I wasn’t going to share the details of what happened but I want people to learn from my mistake and TAKE INFLATABLES OUT OF THE POOL WHEN KIDS ARE SWIMMING!!” she said in her post which has already had thousands of shares and comments.

When it comes to water safety and children, you can never be too careful.

“It took a second, under supervision, for me to almost lose my son. I never thought it would happen to me, no one ever does. I’m one of the lucky ones but not everyone is so lucky…” she added. “I am hoping this will stick with at least one person and save a life so feel free to share.”

We’re so glad that little Costa is doing well now and thanks to mum Shae for sharing her story.


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