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The Hidden Pool Danger That Almost Took This Kid's Life

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Photograph by Twenty20

One mom is furious that her daughter almost died in a hotel pool and is warning other parents to look for drains and suction outlets before their children get in pools.

Alex Morgan was vacationing with her family in Playa Blanca, Lanzarote, where her 6-year-old daughter Darcey played in the pool. When Darcey swam underwater by a waterfall feature, her hair got caught in the pool's filter and she was stuck, unable to the surface.

"She was kept under the water for over two minutes. Some incredibly brave people saved our little girl's life that day. Her hair was pulled and pulled before it was ripped," Morgan wrote on Facebook. "Darcey was unconscious and had to be given CPR at the poolside."

Darcey lost four large clumps of her hair and was taken to the hospital, where she underwent X-rays and tests. She was kept overnight for low oxygen levels and fluid in her right lung.

"It could have been a completely different ending to our holiday. This was the worst day of our lives. We are still suffering to come to terms with it all now but also feel incredibly lucky to still have our beautiful, brave little girl," Morgan said.

Consumer Product Safety Commission warns parents that though drownings have decreased, about 250 children under the age of 5 still drown in residential and public pools and spas each year. From 2012 through 2016, there have been 17 victims of entrapment.

Experts warn parents to keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings, and not to enter pools or spas with non-compliant or missing drain covers. Anything, like hands, feet, hair and jewelry, can get caught and trap people underwater, and the suction can cause serious injury or death.

"The force of a drain on a residential pool has a weight of at least 500 pounds," Paul Pennington, founder and chairman of the Pool Safety Council told NY Daily News a few years ago when Usher's son also had a near-drowning incident involving a pool drain . "A parent can't lift 500 pounds off the ground."

Pennington says that if a child does get stuck, don't try to lift him or her straight off the drain as the force will make it impossible. Instead reach across the child, wedge your fingers between the drain and their body, and peel or roll them off by pulling sideways.

"We want to make as many people aware of the dangers in swimming pools as we feel so strongly about this," Morgan pleads. "(We) don't want any other parents/ family members to go through what we experienced that day. We will never get over what happened but if this post can raise some awareness, save someone's life, then we will be happy."

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