Girl in China fighting for life after she falls into pool at first birthday celebrations

A girl, nicknamed Xiao Ai, is in critical condition after nearly drowning in a swimming pool during her first birthday celebration.
A girl, nicknamed Xiao Ai, is in critical condition after nearly drowning in a swimming pool during her first birthday celebration.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

It was meant to be a joyous celebration of her first birthday, but in a cruel twist, a little girl's life now hangs in the balance.

The toddler, who goes by the nickname Xiao Ai, almost drowned in a swimming pool, leaving her in critical condition in hospital.

She had been taken by her mother to a leisure centre in the Cangshan district of Fuzhou, the capital of Fujian province, on Wednesday (Aug 1) for her birthday, reported the South China Morning Post.

The girl had been using a neck float in the 10 sq m infants' pool at first, but her mother was worried it was too loose so she removed it and placed Xiao Ai on top of a round buoy.

But when her mother turned her back for a moment, Xiao Ai slipped off the buoy.

She spent about a minute in the water before she was rescued, and staff and her mother tried to perform first aid on the girl before taking her to hospital.

Dr Lin Shuyin, who treated the toddler, said she had no heartbeat when she arrived at the hospital but was given an adrenaline shot and revived after 20 minutes of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

The report said closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage from the centre suggested the mother had been answering a message on her phone when Xiao Ai slipped off the buoy and spent about a minute in the water before she was rescued.

Police are now studying CCTV from the swimming baths although it is not known whether anyone would face charges.