Near-drowning is a frequently preventable accident that has significant morbidity and mortality for a previously healthy population. It causes an hypoxic-ischemic insult and multisystem organ dysfunction. Effective and aggressive CPR at the scene is the most important therapy presently available. Children needing CPR in an emergency room setting have poor outcome unless the submersion incident occurred in ice-water and the patient is hypothermic upon arrival in the emergency room. Attempts at prevention through parent education, requiring of CPR certification for pool owners, and legislation of barriers around the pool are critical because treatment to improve the outcome of the neurologic insult has proved ineffective.