In the summer of 1990-something, a dear friend lost her child to drowning. I think it was 1994, but it’s all still such a blur. It happened at another friend’s home. This friend opened her doors to a Cub Scout meeting. There were plenty of people, children, AND parents. Their pool was in an enclosed patio. They had secured the area by all thoughts, and no one was to be there.
As the Cub Scouts did activities outside, one mom lost sight of her two-year-old. A few months older than my Zac, that little girl left the security of her mom, adults, and children and somehow found her way to the pool. I’m sure that time passes far more quickly than we account for and those ticking moments of a child walking into solitude ended in the swimming pool.
When the toddler was discovered, she was limp and blue. The hostess, a registered nurse, began CPR, and the child was breathing and had a pulse. The hostess RN administered CPR with great love until an ambulance arrived, taking the child to a children’s hospital.
There was hope.
Minutes turned to hours. Hours to days. Days to news that the toddler would be on life support for the rest of her life. Her brain had died.
The parents had a choice to make. They chose life support, but the toddler’s body gave up and moved to heaven within a few years. The parents couldn’t move beyond the circumstances, and a friendship, solid for years and years, collapsed and had all parties in court.
It was an accident. Perhaps it could have been prevented, but life seldom lends itself to do-overs.
US Swim School Association Provides Tips to Help Prevent Drowning During Water Safety Month in May
Preeminent swim school organization advises parents to begin water safety with kids at six months.
Drowning is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. On average, 3,533 people die as a result of drowning each year, and most of those deaths are children under the age of four who drown in backyard swimming pools. The tragedy of these statistics is nearly all drowning deaths are preventable. To help educate children, parents, families, and swim instructors on preventive measures to avoid a drowning incident, US Swim School Association (USSSA), the preeminent swim school organization in the country, has compiled the latest life-saving water safety and swim instruction tips for National Water Safety Month in May.
Several standard water safety precautions are recommended to parents, including keeping children under constant supervision, enrolling children in swimming lessons, knowing CPR, and having pool fences and barriers installed. In addition to these vital steps, USSSA has created a list of tips parents can use to build extra layers of protection for their children around water.
Drowning Prevention & Water Safety Tips
- Create a verbal cue for your toddler or child that you must give before they can enter the pool.
- Never allow your baby/toddler in the pool without a swim diaper.
- Create a process the child must go through before entering a pool, such as putting on a swim diaper, a swimsuit, and applying sunscreen.
- Never use floatation devices or water wings when swimming or teaching kids to swim.
- Children should learn to swim without goggles. Teach your children to open their eyes underwater; if they fall in, they can find the side of the pool or a step and get out safely.
- For very young children, practice putting their entire face underwater in the bathtub and blowing bubbles to build their comfort with water.
- Create a water safety plan for your family and have water emergency drills with your kids covering how to recognize the signs of someone struggling in the water and what to do in this type of emergency.
- Make sure your guests and kids’ friends know your pool rules before going outside and getting in the pool.
- Start swim lessons at six months of age and continue them year-round at a US Swim School member location.
- Always make sure your children wear life jackets on boats, personal watercraft, and in open bodies of water.
For more information on USSSA, details on becoming a member of the nation’s leading swim school organization, or to find a USSSA affiliated swim school near you, visit: http://www.usswimschool.org.
About US Swim School Association
US Swim School Association (USSSA) began in 1988 to fill a gap in the swim school industry. USSSA has become the largest and preeminent swim school association, with over 400 members providing swim and water safety instruction to over 500,000 students each year. Swim schools receive invaluable benefits as USSSA members, receiving the latest training in water safety, swim instruction methods and tools, invitations to annual conferences, and many other benefits that help establish and build each business. Through USSSA, parents, and students are provided with a reliable and trustworthy resource when searching for a swim school. They can rest assured they have chosen a top school when choosing a USSSA affiliated location. For more information, visit www.usswimschool.org.