An Evanston lifeguard jumped into action Monday to rescue a toddler who was lying face down in the water at Lee Street Beach.
When he saw the young girl not moving around 2 p.m., he jumped down from the chair to pull her out of the water, according to city officials. With the assistance of two other lifeguards, he performed First Aid to revive her, then carried her to the beach, where a team from the Evanston Fire Department had arrived to evaluate her.
Paramedics said that the 22-month-old girl was in stable condition following first aid, but she was transported to Evanston Hospital for further evaluation because she was so young. She was released several hours later, according to city officials.
“It was a textbook operation,” Director of the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department Director Douglas Gaynor said in a press release from the city. “The lifeguard responded quickly and did a great job.”
Gaynor said that Evanston’s lifeguards assist struggling swimmers on a daily basis, but the seriousness of this incident was outside of the norm.
"We don't have many of these, knock wood," Gaynor told Patch.
According to Gaynor, the toddler's grandmother was nearby. He said he was not sure whether any other caregivers for the little girl were at the beach.
"There's a lot of parental responsibility involved as well as staff responsibility," Gaynor stressed. "Parents should not take their eyes off their kids."
No matter how old a child is, he or she could have a seizure or experience another health issue at any time, Gaynor said. A parent or other caregiver should always be at the edge of the water, watching, while children are swimming.
"It helps our lifeguard staff, especially when there's a lot of kids in the water," he said.
Editor's Note: This story was updated with more information from Gaynor at 1:30 p.m.