We take water safety very seriously and my daughter always wears some kind of floatation device — a life jacket on the boat and this *Puddle Jumper floatie by the pool. One day last summer, due to a “code brown” situation, I broke my own rule and took off her floatie vest in order to rinse out her suit and attend to the “poop deck.”
And I took my eyes off my child. Though it was only for a few seconds and I was less than two feet away, that’s all it took. She leaned over the pool to retrieve a ball and fell in, silently slipping under the water. That’s the thing about drowning; it’s not the wild, splashing scene often depicted on t.v. or in the movies.
It’s deadly quiet.
Kids, especially ones like mine with zero body fat, sink like a stone. Luckily her brother was right there to reach down and pluck her out out of the water.
This summer Avery continues to wear her Puddle Jumper. ALWAYS. As well, she’s learning to swim without it but only when an adult is in the pool with her. It’s important for non-swimmers to feel the sensation of sinking. We’re teaching her to float on her own and to paddle to the side of the pool so she can save herself if, god forbid, she should ever need to.
Remember the days of lying poolside with a book, without a care in the world? As soon as you become a parent, responsible for the safety of a child…. all eyes are on deck at all times.
Have a SAFE and splashy rest of the summer everyone.
Read this powerful story written by my friend Deb about how she nearly drowned as a child. She was lucky. Not every child is.