The events at a Crofton Country Club pool on 22nd June 2006, which lead to the death of 6 year old Connor Freed have led to the implementation of Connor’s Law. When Connor Freed was found at the bottom of the pool, there was a defibrillator at the pool that could have saved his life; but the lifeguard at the pool was not trained to use it and this resulted in the demise of the young boy. Automatic external Defibrillators (AEDs) deliver an electronic shock in case an individual is in cardiac arrest and could have prevented the death of Connor Freed.
Connor’s Law dictates that all public and semi – public pools in the Anne Arundel County must be equipped with defibrillators. It also specifies that all lifeguards at these pools must be trained to use and administer the defibrillator in the case of an emergency. Even though this law is a positive step towards preventing accidental deaths due to drowning, there is much yet to be done with respect to reducing the risk in other areas. Drowning is the largest cause of accidental deaths among children from the age of 1 to 4 and the 5th greatest cause for all accidental deaths in the United States of America.
Due to the death of their son, the Freeds set up The Connor Cares Foundation in his memory which is aimed at preventing any such accidents from occurring again. The foundation donates defibrillators to public pools and also works towards providing the necessary training to lifesaving personnel in order to improve safety at public and private pools. In the case of privately owned pools, where there are no safety personnel, it is critical for adults to ensure that no young children are left unsupervised and all adequate measures to ensure the safety of the children must be taken. Fencing off the pool, for example, is very important to make sure that young children are never left unattended near the pool.
Connor’s Law is a positive step towards reducing the risk of accidental deaths due to drowning and increasing over all safety at public pools. However, it is the government’s responsibility to ensure the safety of these pools all over the country. Setting standards and implementing such laws are very important if such incidents are to be avoided or eliminated entirely.