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Drowning 1-year-old girl struggles in pool for 90 seconds before negligent mum, who was glued to phone, helps her out

A mother from Fuzhou City in the Fujian Province took her daughter for a swim to celebrate her first birthday. However, she was so engrossed in scrolling through her mobile phone that she only discovered her daughter had been drowning in the water after 90 seconds.

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The mother scooped her daughter out of the water and attempted CPR, before swiftly leaving the premises. The leaked 3-minute-long CCTV video captured the entire ordeal, and even showed that another child in the pool noticed the drowning girl, and attempted to grab the attention of the mother to no avail, causing this tragic event.

Netizens slammed the mother for negligence, commenting that she "plays on her phone so much that her brain must have turned to mush!"

The birthday girl, Xiao Ai's mother, named Mrs Wu, said that she took her daughter to the "Beberam" infant swimming pool in Zhaoyu Road, Cangshan District, Fuzhou at around 5 pm on July the 31st.

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Because she felt that the staff-provided lifevest was too loose-fitting for her daughter, she opted to give her a circular floatation lifebuoy instead.

After letting her daughter swim for a while, Mrs Wu suddenly remembered to send a text to her friends, so she went over to a nearby table to pick up her mobile phone.

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When she turned back, the child was already drowning. She claims that "It was about a minute or two, maybe my daughter sat on the ring and lost balance, flipping her upside down."

According to the CCTV footage, when the mother turned to face the pool, the baby girl was already submerged under the water, yet her mother did not notice it, and even stood right next to her drowning daughter, whose head was forced below the water with writing limbs, while engrossed in her device. 

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Another boy who was next to the drowning girl seemed to have noticed the girl and attempted to help her by giving another floatation aid, then signalling the mother to help her own daughter. However, his waves for help were in vain, as the mother waved him away and turned around to continue using her phone.

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The infant drowned for 90 excruciating seconds until the little boy made a second, more desperate attempt to catch the attention of the adults, before the girl's mother finally noticed that her daughter was in grave danger and rushed to scoop her out of the water. She then attempted CPR, compressing her chest and giving her mouth-to-mouth, before rushing her to the hospital.

The mother ran to a nearby clinic called "Fuxiang Clinic" around 300 to 400 metres away from the pool, but the clinic staff, seeing that the girl's condition was so serious, dared not help her with their limited equipment.

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In desperation, the mother took a taxi to the provincial Jinshan Hospital. When the girl was finally hospitalised at 6 pm, it had already been more than 20 minutes since her drowning. During the taxi ride, Mrs Wu said that she kept giving her daughter chest compressions, and even then, she still spat out more water. "I don't know how to do proper first aid," said Mrs Wu in tears, "But I should've started pressing (giving the chest compressions) earlier."

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When the infant was presented to the emergency room, she had no breathing nor pulse, her lips were purple from hypoxemia and hypothermia. After emergency first aid, she recovered her heartbeat but was still not breathing when sent to the intensive care unit, thus remained in critical condition.

Mrs Wu told reporters that they were from Yunnan, and were working in Fuzhou. Xiao Ai was her second child, and the day of this unfortunate incident was also her first birthday. Through tears, she said, "I hope my daughter can survive."

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The person in charge of the infant swimming pool said that, after the incident, he also stayed with the family at the hospital for the night, and helped pay for some of the medical expenses. "We will not evade any of our responsibilities," said the person in charge.  Currently, the police have gone through the CCTV footage, but no charges have been made as of yet.

Lin Shuqin, the chief physician of the emergency department of Jinshan Hosptial in the province said that the infant's respiratory system has not yet fully developed, therefore she is more vulnerable to drowning.

The swimming pool in question (Online image)

Additionally, because the mother did not provide effective first aid and waited until the girl arrived at the hospital, the rescue was greatly delayed.

Doctor Lin reminds the public that if, touch wood, one were to ever to be such a situation, one should immediately call the emergency number and let an ambulance arrive to quickly take the victim to the hospital while providing emergency medical support.

Xiao Ai remains in critical condition (Online image)

"If necessary, the family could also carry out effective first aid measures under the guidance of a trained medical personnel on the phone," said the doctor. "Timing is of paramount importance when it comes to first aid and saving lives."