Friday, April 16, 2010

Aquatic Awareness: Vigilance Saves Lives

Last week, I read a post over at Becca's, which led me to her friend's post, and I had tears in my eyes.  We, too, have a pool in our backyard and I know how stressful it can be to keep an eye on all the kids.

When we had our pool built, there was no question whether or not we would put a fence around it. We built a fence that cut our yard from the back fence to the side of the house which completely fenced the pool from the rest of the yard. I never wanted a child to slip outside and end up in the pool.

My kids know the rules.  Nobody ever goes on the pool side without an adult.  Nobody goes into the pool without an adult.  When they knock balls over the fence, they know to come and ask for help rather than scaling the fence.

My husband and I carefully watch our kids in the pool, but I know how quickly accidents can happen.  Even when everyone is watching and being vigilant.  Even when every possible precaution has been taken. I know Becca and her friend are good, watchful, aware parents and I'm grateful that no lasting damage happened that frightening summer day. 

Last summer, friends were over and the kids were in the pool.  The 4 older kids are all swimmers.  The 2 younger kids were playing on the steps.  My friend and I were at the edge of the pool watching them all.  She went inside to change her youngest's diaper and I kept an eye on the 6 in the pool.  I assured my friend that they'd all be fine, and I could keep an eye on the 6. 

And I did, right until her 2yo stepped off the step and went under the water.  After a mere moment of disbelief, I jumped into the pool.  Just in time for her to walk down the path to our pool and see me lift him from the water.

I was fully dressed, with my phone in my pocket (it was the only thing that drowned that day.) I never hesitated, but I still can't believe how quickly it all happened.  Thankfully, he was fine and had only been under the water for a few seconds.  I scooped him up and placed him back on the steps.  I did my best to smile and laugh with him, as I didn't want him to be afraid of the water.  I held my pounding heart deep in my chest, and smiled at my friend that all was okay.

Thank God that it was.

In Arizona, we're starting to open our pools.  During the next few months, people all over the country will open their pools and kids will drown.  Let's cut that number this year by being extra-vigilant. 

Be extra-vigilant. Don't drink by the pool. Keep your eyes on kids every moment. Don't let them ever swim alone. Teach them pool safety, but don't ever let your guard down. Encourage everyone you know to be extra-vigilant.

It only takes a moment.


  1. Thanks for posting and linking, Melanie.


  2. That is so true. It only takes a second. I'm sorry you have a story like this, but God was certainly with you that day. We all need to do our part in keeping kids safe around pools.

    Found you via Becca.

  3. Anonymous5:55 PM

    Oh dear. Not a swimming thing exactly, but this is why we ALWAYS wear life vests when we canoe with children and when we go on solo trips even though D. and I are sloppy about wearing them when we kayak or canoe together when we don't need to set an example and water conditions are calm. That said, I would NEVER take the kayaks out on Lake Superior without wearing the vests. The water is COLD even in August and the winds can turn on a dime. I don't share the responsibility of being a parent as all you do, but I can try to understand.


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