Summer is here. This means different things to different people. For some, it means no school. Staying out late and spending time with friends. For some, it means long days spent at the beach, sipping lemonade (or whatever) and soaking in some rays. And for others it means wild rides at amusement parks. For me, it means anxiety attacks and excessive worry as I supervise my children in the swimming pool.
This morning, I read this blog. A blog that belongs to a mom who recently lost her daughter, who was only slightly older than Alaina, in a horrific drowning accident. My heart aches for her. I can not even fathom the loss that they are feeling right now. It's so hard. I have never "met" this woman, but she has been a part of my life (almost daily) for the last year through the blogosphere. My thoughts and prayers go out to her and her family.
I haven't been able to stop thinking about this. After all, I have a pool and a hot tub in my backyard. I try to do all I can to keep my children safe, but I imagine this mom was doing the same. It only takes a second, as I imagine all accidents do. You turn your head for a second in the store and your child is gone. You let go of their hand for one second in a parking lot and disaster can strike.
I read somewhere that drowning is actually the number one cause of accidental death in children under 5 years. This applies not only to drowning accidents in pools, but also in hot tubs, buckets (such as mopping buckets), bath tubs, fish tanks and toilets. It takes only one inch of water for a small child to drown. ONE INCH!!!!
We get things in the mail or see things on tv all the time about how drowning has been dubbed "the silent killer." If your child goes underwater, you can't hear him/her scream. They can't cry. They may flap their arms and kick their legs, but if they have not been taught how to relax and float, they immediately sink when they go in the water and you can't hear any splashing sounds when they are completely submerged.
I live in a state where swimming is a part of everyday life. We go to pool parties and have BBQ's on the beach. I teach my children how to swim, in hopes that if something were to happen, that might give me a few seconds longer to get to them. This all has reminded me that I really need to brush up on my CPR. I learned infant/child CPR when I had my first child, and I have brushed up on it numerous times since then. My problem is that as I am going through the motions, my mind starts to wander and I begin to panic about actually having to USE what I am learning at some point and I think that tends to be somewhat distracting and everything I am trying to remember doesn't sink in as well as it should. Does that happen to anyone else??
So, I have decided (I have been thinking about doing this for a month or so, now, and after reading about the tragic death of such a beautiful little baby I have decided for sure) that I am going to do water survival lessons with Alaina. These lessons don't teach her how to swim, they will teach her how to float and keep her face out of the water in case she ever were to fall into the pool or hot tub. I found this video on YouTube that shows what I want her to be able to do. It makes your heart pump a little at first, but dont worry....just keep watching. My children gathered around and were very interested as to what was going on.
Now, I am going to go hug my babies and tell them each how much I love them.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Posted by Valarie at 11:20 AM