TWO out of every three children (70 percent) drowned in the Balearics are foreigners, under six years old and, in many cases, the tragedy happens in hotel or holiday apartment swimming pools during the first day of their stay. Children drowning at beaches and in swimming pools in the Balearics is the third major cause of death in the Intensive Care Unit at Son Dureta hospital. This service has, in the last 15 years, cared for 98 drowned children, which is an average of 6.5 cases per year in the region, a “worrying” figure as the number of incidents “has not fallen” during this time. The results of the treatment of drowned patients taken into the Children's Intensive Care Unit in Son Dureta from 1991-2005, were analysed yesterday during a press conference by the head of the Intensive Care Unit at Son Dureta, Juan Carlos de Carlos, the head of the Paediatric Service, Manuel Cuesta, and the Medical Subdirector of the centre, Lucio Pallares. According to the report, some 87 percent of the drownings were in fresh water, of which 74 percent were in public swimming pools. De Carlos highlighted the fact that 97 percent of the children who died couldn't swim or couldn't swim very well, and had momentarily gone out of sight of the family.

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