A 10-month-old baby has ended up in the ICU after being left struggling underwater unattended for three and a half minutes at a daycare centre when the staff were not paying attention.
The infant, known as Chi Chi, was left inside the pool to learn to swim at a daycare centre in China and he nearly drowned due to negligence of staff which left him submerged in the water upside down after his swimming ring flipped.
His mother had just stepped out to catch some fresh air because the store was too warm.
Later, a worker noticed the motionless child and removed him from the pool when another woman alerted him. The boy survived the ordeal after being rushed to hospital, Dailymail UK quoted a local newspaper.
The horrifying incident took place on September 28 in the city of Wenzhou in eastern China’s Zhejiang Province which came to light after the baby’s father contacted the Wenzhou Evening News to complain about the infant care centre and demand justice.
Footage circulated on social media showed Chi Chi was splashing with another young child in the pool in the beginning. Shortly after, his swimming buddy was taken away from the pool by two women, leaving him floating on his own.
According to the report, the father, Mr Fang, had spent 1,888 yuan (£217) purchasing an annual membership with the centre so his newborn son could go and learn swimming every day. On the day, the tiny boy was enjoying his aquatic session while wearing a rubber ring at around 7 pm.
A moment later, the boy suddenly learned forward and dropped into the water headfirst after his swimming ring tipped over. The clip shows Chi Chi desperately kicking his legs while his head was completely submerged.
He then slipped out of the swimming ring. At one point, he tried to reach the surface of the water to breathe but failed. Several adults were not far away from the pool, but all seemed to be occupied.
After struggling for about a minute, Chi Chi stopped moving and was drifting in the currents. Another two and a half minutes later, a man was called to the side of the pool by a woman who was carrying a young child.
The man, believed to be a worker of the centre, picked Chi Chi out of the pool by the leg and the boy appeared motionless.
Mr Fang claimed that his son was not breathing while being rushed to hospital. The boy was immediately taken to the ICU.
The devastated father said that it had taken Chi Chi about a month to recover. He stated that Chi Chi’s health had become worse and he had fallen ill a few times since. He worried that the incident could lead Chi Chi to have long-term health problems.
‘If something happens to him, my child’s whole life and our entire family would be affected,’ Mr Fang told Wenzhou Evening News.
The infant care centre agreed to shoulder some responsibilities and medical bills but insisted that Chi Chi’s parents were not monitoring the boy as required by the business.
Mr Fang argued that his wife had just stepped out to catch some fresh air because the pool area was too warm. He also claimed he had never been told that parents must attend to their children in the store at all times.
The two parties were still trying to reach a settlement when the report was filed.