Two-year-old remains critical after he nearly drowns in nursery pool

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Two-year-old remains critical after he nearly drowns in nursery pool

Dubai - Toddler remains in coma

By Kelly Clarke / Amira Agarib

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Published: Sun 22 May 2016, 8:14 PM

Last updated: Sun 22 May 2016, 11:12 PM

A two-year-old boy remains in a critical condition at Latifa hospital following a drowning incident at a nursery in Dubai.
Syed Raza Abbas - who is just four months away from celebrating his third birthday - has been on supportive medication to maintain his vital signs since Thursday morning.
Syed's lifeless body was allegedly pulled from a pool after the nursery staff noticed he was missing at the end of playtime.
Father of the toddler, Safdar Abbas, told Khaleej Times from the Intensive Care Unit at Latifa Hospital on Sunday that he received a call from the nursery in Satwa at 10am on Thursday informing him that his son had fallen into the school's pool.
"They gave us very few details of the incident which immediately aroused my suspicions," Abbas said.
According to the "limited details" given by the nursery to Syed's family, the incident happened during the class's morning playtime.
"There were 17 students with one teacher and two supervisors looking after them. The distance between the play area and the pool is about 50-70m, if not more. What I don't understand is how he was able to wander off so far on his own," his uncle told Khaleej Times' reporter.
The staff attempted to perform life-saving technique CPR on the boy but to no avail. Then, the toddler was taken about 200m down the road to the Unicare Medical Centre, and later to Latifa Hospital in an ambulance. "What we know from the doctor is that he had suffered a cardiac arrest for about 45 minutes. He has been in a coma since Thursday morning and is showing little sign of improvement," Abbas said.
And when the family demanded to see CCTV footage from the school grounds, the staff informed them that only management had the authority to grant access to it.
Prior to Thursday's incident, Abbas said he had made an informal complaint to the nursery's principal about marks he had found on his son's face.
"I met with the principal at about 9am on that Thursday morning to discuss my concerns, so when I got the call soon after at 10am, I thought they were calling to discuss my complaint further," Abbas said.
Describing his son as a "friendly, sociable and active little boy", Abbas said he wants to avoid such tragedies happening to other innocent children.
"This is a case of pure negligence on the school's part and we need more awareness about such incidents."
Syed's uncle said the Ministry of Education and Dubai Police have been "very cooperative" since the incident, and according to the family the MoE shut the nursery down on Thursday for a period of seven days.
When Khaleej Times spoke to a legal representative for the New Dubai Nursery, he said he could not comment on the issue as it was "still ongoing" with the Dubai Police and MoE.
Neither could he confirm that the school had been shut down.
A Dubai Police official did confirm that it is investigating the circumstances of the child drowning in Dubai.
He said in cases where a life is lost due to such negligence, those responsible for the child at the time of the incident will be held accountable.
Recently, the Dubai Police announced that deaths by drowning had dropped in the emirate. Twenty people died in Dubai in 2015.

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