Reporting Linh Bui
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A terrifying moment for any parent. The son of singer Usher Raymond almost drowned in the family pool after getting stuck in a pool drain.
Linh Bui explains how to prevent this from happening to your children.
Usher’s son spent the night at an Atlanta hospital, where he was kept for observation. The little boy is lucky to be alive.
A frantic call for help.
911 Operator: “What’s the status of your emergency?”
Caller: “My nephew was in the pool. He went in…I couldn’t get him…I tried to get him.”
Five-year-old Usher Raymond V–stuck at the bottom of the family’s pool– was pulled into the pool drain. His aunt dialed 911, and two men installing sound equipment in the house jumped in.
Caller: “They got him out now. Doing CPR on him.”
One of those men saved the boy’s life, reviving him on the side of the pool.
Caller: “He’s breathing.”
911 Operator: “Alright. Stay with me.”
When paramedics arrived, the boy was conscious and alert. They took him to the hospital. Usher was not home at the time.
Although incidents like this are rare, they could happen anytime. A person’s body part, clothing or hair can get pulled into the pool drain.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, between 1999 and 2009, there were 79 injuries from pool drain entrapments and 12 deaths. Most of the victims were under the age of 15.
“That suction can be very powerful,” said Gary Hohne.
Gary Hohne, CEO of Hohne Pools, says pools should have new, safer drain covers. But older pools might have outdated covers.
Never use a pool that has a broken or missing drain cover, and immediately replace or repair them. Never let swimmers play next to a drain cover. And adults should constantly supervise children.
Hohne also says you can turn the main drains off.
“Kids. Their curiosity can draw them to the main drain. They want to touch it, feel it, explore and see what it is,” Hohne said.
In this case, playtime turned into a near-death experience.
Usher has primary custody of his two sons. But Wednesday, his ex-wife filed paperwork in court, asking a judge to give her custody instead. A hearing is set for Friday afternoon.
Usher has faced a swimming tragedy before. Last summer, the singer’s stepson died after a jet ski accident on a north Georgia lake.