A FORMER city lifeguard believes there should be more emphasis put on pool safety and learning CPR after a boy almost drowned in a lido.

The seven-year-old, who has not been named, was rescued from the water at Droitwich Lido on Saturday and given CPR by lifeguards and off-duty medic, Andi Beale, at poolside.

He didn’t breathe for over six minutes and was rushed to Worcestershire Royal Hospital by ambulance.

It is understood he was spending the day at the lido and leisure centre with his family when he allegedly slipped into the pool and began to drown.

Fran Sheridan, a former lifeguard at the old Worcester Swimming Pool and a father-of-three, said he believes “the best gift you can give to a child” is teach them “respect for the water” as well as how to swim.

“The problem we have got nowadays is there’s a big push about not going into open water, but not necessarily the impact on your body of diving into any cold water,” said the 47-year-old, from Worcester.

“With the Lido, it can be a dangerous place especially on hot days as when jumping into the water it is possible to go into shock from the sudden drop in body temperature causing you to unwillingly take a short sharp breath.”

He added: “It would be helpful if kids were taught CPR too.”

Mr Sheridan, an electrician and Youthcomm presenter, was a lifeguard for several years after leaving school at 16, and said while children maybe get annoyed listening to pool staff,”these rules are in place for a reason”.

“Water is one of the most dangerous things for a child.”

A BOY was saved by lifeguards and an off-duty medic after almost drowning in a lido.

The seven-year-old boy had fallen into the pool at the Droitwich Spa Lido on Saturday afternoon before being rescued by a lifeguard, but did not breathe for over six minutes.

Andi Beale, who is clinical head of neurophysiology for Gloucestershire, and is trained in advanced lifesaving, was in the café with her daughter Jodie Calvert and grandchildren, and rushed to the scene to help give CPR.

“It was very very difficult to deal with,” said the 57-year-old, from Worcester. “It’s always difficult, but particularly as it was a child and there was no sign of life. The whole scene was very distressing for everybody there.”

Ms Calvert noticed the commotion and went outside before returning to the café and telling her mum to hurry down to the pool.

“He had already been pulled out of the water, he was lying on the side of the pool,” she said.

Three lifeguards were with him when she reached the pool, and one was performing CPR, while another – who she assumes had rescued the boy – was “soaking wet”.

“They had a very good emergency procedure in place. They sent for the defibrillator and the ambulance had been called for. Everything was under control.”

They then took it in turns to maintain CPR, with Ms Beale adding: “It has to be a team effort.”

The defibrillator was not appropriate for use, and despite not seeing the readings, she said it is often because there isn’t a high enough heart rhythm.

“I don’t want to discourage anyone from using a defibrillator. But it’s completely automated, you turn it on and push a button and it does the rest.”

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Ms Beale said she was very focused on the patient but believes most members of the public were evacuated from the lido, while the boy’s family were gathered nearby and were “very distressed”.

“It could’ve gone the opposite way, it was very close,” admitted Ms Beale.

Having also performed lifesaving CPR on two babies in the past, Ms Beale went on to say: “That’s why you need there to be properly trained people.”

She said: “In real life it’s never the same as in practice with dummies. It’s a real person. It can be traumatic. You have to stay focused.”

Referring to how the boy might have ended up in the pool, she said: “Things can happen in a split second. It can happen in an instant – suddenly they have gone under the water, they are panicking and the first thing they do is gulp down water.”

A spokesman for West Midlands Ambulance said they received a call at 3.16pm to “reports of possible drowning”.

The boy did not breathe for “six or seven minutes” before crews were then informed at 3.21pm that he was now breathing. One minute later they arrived at the scene.

An air ambulance from Strensham had also flown on ahead but the patient was taken to Worcestershire Royal Hospital at 3.52pm, breathing and conscious.

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A West Mercia Police spokesman said an air ambulance had attempted to land off Corbett Avenue at 3.32pm at the back of the Lido.

According to the police log, he said the “off-duty paramedic did a good job”.

“The child came around on his own and had a very low temperature when he was taken to hospital. The child was breathing but in shock. The child was up and well.”