Patient and Family Perspectives

  • Published July 5, 2023
Dr. Taufetee

Featuring members of EMSC’s Family Advisory Network (FAN). Learn more about the FAN.

Name: Mary Lauagaia Taufetee, EdD

State: American Samoa

Why did you become a FAN?

“A 10-year-old boy from my district, who was my nephew and a family member, drowned when he was swept out to sea by strong currents. As a member of the legislature at the time, I introduced a resolution stating that the Department of Public Safety Rescue Team and the Marine Patrol should have jet skis available for life-saving situations out at sea. With the support of other members of the legislature, a local Toyota company donated three jet skis for this purpose.”

What is the most important thing for emergency practitioners to know about caring for children in emergencies?

“It is important to remind government officials, the community at large, and especially parents that they too can help directly or indirectly in saving a child's life. Children should never be left unattended in or near the water, including swimming pools. An adult should always be watching children in or near the water. It is also important to examine the surrounding area for any potential dangers because drowning incidents can happen in a matter of seconds. Too many children drown in pools and open bodies of water. There's a saying: ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’ I believe we can save a child's life if we all work together as a team, helping one another.As a FAN rep, I would like to remind government officials, the community at large, especially parents, to be vigilant and ensure that an adult is watching their child in or near the water at all times. Basic safety rules pamphlets about water or sea should be available and disseminated publicly for everyone to read and understand the safety rules for their children in or near water. This would not only save a child's life but also prevent devastation and heartbreak for any family.”