Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Soakin' Up Some Sun....Safely


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.

9 comments:

Leah said...

I saw that video a few months ago and was just simply AMAZED!!! I actually got the video because of a news report I saw on TV. Very impressive. There isn't a place near me that does the training, or I think I would have strongly considered doing it with Connor. I hope it goes well with you and Alaina, and I'd love to see you blog updates on the process!

HUGE HUGS to that mother and her family. I read your post with tears in my eyes

The Cochran Family said...

It seems like all the sudden there are all these water tradegy's. When I posted, My freind from CT said that her neice just drowned, one year old baby girl! I feel like this is a huge wake-up call to all mothers everywhere! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this as well, so we can reach many people, but there is also a side to me that thinks that for some children, it was just there time to go and we have to cling to remebering that families are forever and all wil be made right...

Amanda B. said...

wow- so scary. That more mom. Like you said, she probably thought she was doing all to be careful. Things can truly happen so quickly. Even knowing everything in the video would be okay, it still stressed me out. And when the baby was on her back, I was like, would someone get her now please???? But I know the point was to show how long they could stay afloat. A very good idea to do with your little one!! Good luck to you!

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Thank you for not providing a link to that blog. I cannot bear to read it. I don't think I would be able to relax for even a minute with a pool in my own backyard.

Dawn said...

That is so sad to read about what happened to the family that you referred to. My heart goes out to them. Thank you for posting this video...that was amazing.

utmomof5 said...

Amazing video!! My heart goes out to that family. I cannot imagine such a tragedy!

Family Adventure said...

Wow, Valarie. That is terrible what happened to the other mom. I have a backyard pool, too, and I have had the same thoughts. My kids are older now, but all it takes is someone hitting their head on the side and noone watching. We try to always be vigilant when it comes to kids being in the pool, but, at the same time, I also want my children to be aware of their surroundings and prepared to help out if need be. That's why both of them have taken extensive swimming lessons/cpr/lifeguarding classes.

Great post!

Heidi

Betsy said...

I really really really hope I don't have nighmares tonight about drowning kids... I almost cried! I thought they really left him there! :( That would be an interesting class... good luck! And hugs and prayers for your 'friends' family.

Jennifer said...

oh my goodness. That is really hard to watch but so amazing! Where do they teach that?