Water safety is SO incredibly important, especially now that we are in the summer months. In fact, May is actually Drowning Prevention Month. Many of you have probably heard the drowning phrase, “it only takes a second”. Maybe you’ve doubted that or been a bit lax about this. But, it is the absolute truth. Drowning really can happen in a split second…and you very well might have NO idea it’s happening. In fact, most of the time, drowning is completely silent. The ONLY certain way to avoid a tragic accident is to be 100% vigilant with your kids around water.
I can attest to this firsthand. In fact, we had a reminder happen twice about the silence of drowning and reason for vigilance at a pool party just this past weekend. The kids were playing in the pool with the dads sitting around the edge. Our middle little guy (age 3) didn’t have his life jacket on anymore and missed the step. He slipped under the water, struggling to come up for air. Desperately kicking to reach the surface, but barely able to get his mouth or nose out of the water. He was pulled up in less than a few seconds. But, the whole scenario was completely silent. He didn’t make a sound slipping beneath the surface. Less than 30 minutes later, the exact same thing happened to the two-year old playing in the pool. Had the dads not been sitting right next to the pool AND paying attention to what was going on, this story could have had a much different ending.
Two years ago, I experienced this firsthand for the first time. It was a quick and very scary reminder about water vigilance. My friend and I sat on a shallow landing in her pool, my then 15 month old right by my side. Seriously, right next to me. We sat and talked while he happily played and splashed right beside me. I turned my head for just a second or two to actually look at her while I was talking. When we looked back, my 15 month old had fallen face first into the water and couldn’t lift his head back out (this is precisely why little ones can drown in just a couple of inches of water…in bathtubs, in buckets, in toilets). Again, just a few seconds longer and my story could have ended up very different. My friend, Emily at “Is This Really My Life”, shares a similar scary pool moment that happened during swimming lessons. My friend, Becca from “My Crazy Good Life”, had a little boy nearly drown in her pool. You can read the full account by his mom here —> “Those Parents“. It was much scarier than any of the situations I’ve experienced!
These stories are all from good moms. Involved moms. We were there. We were watching. We were present. BUT for a split second, we weren’t. And if those split seconds had been just a wee bit longer, any one of these stories could have had a horribly tragic ending.
There are SO many great tips for water safety… make sure that pools have a fence around them, have non-swimmers wear Coast Guard approved life jackets, enroll kids in swim lessons at an early age, teach older kids what to do (like yell, “HELP”) if they see a younger sibling slip under the water, only swim in community places when life guards are present, know CPR. However, the ONLY way to be absolutely sure your child is safe is to be vigilant! There is NO replacement for constant adult supervision!!!
While watching your kids around water, you MUST be 100% present. I’ll leave you with this post from “The Fun, Cheap, or Free Queen”… “My Son Drown Today“. It’s chilling and a very big wake-up call to be present. For her, it was an iphone and instagram. But, it could have been anything…talking to a friend sitting at the pool with you for just a little too long, dealing with another child and not checking the others for just a second, skimming a magazine, taking a quick phone call.
Drowning can happen SO fast and it CAN happen to you. Even you as a really, really good parent. Be mindful, be present, be vigilant and keep those little ones safe around water!
Have YOU had any scary water moments?