Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Swimming Safety Alert

Yesterday was a strange and scary day.  I saw a sweet, 3 year-old boy nearly drown at swimming lessons.  It occured while three lifeguards were in the vicinity, two of whom were supposed to be watching the 7 little kids in the class.  While the child wasn't choking or crying when he was finally rescued, he had been under the water for over 20 seconds (confirmed by 2 moms who were there). He wasn't being naughty, just leaned over to pop a bubble in the pool and fell in. 

It was terrifying for us moms in the bleachers, who alerted the unknowing lifeguards by screaming at the top of our lungs and pointing to get their attention.  We were all ready to dive out of the bleachers and into the pool when the lifeguard pulled him up.  He had come with his babysitter, who brings him with her son.  Thankfully, he seemed to be okay and not even scared of the water after being rescued.   However, when I later called his babysitter, she did say he kept trying to go to sleep afterwards, in the car, and spitting up a little bit, possible warning signs of dry drowning

Meanwhile, the lifeguards and us moms in the bleachers were pretty messed up for the rest of day.  Our hearts were racing and our eyes were glued to our children.  Because this same kind of incident happened when I was a child in swimming lessons, with no one assisting a little boy in my class who fell in until I reached down and pulled him up, I have been ULTRA paranoid careful about watching my kids in lessons, never leaving them at lessons to run errands, or letting them swim at a friend's house unless I'm present.  There will be a time for that when they are older and can swim well, but yesterday confirmed my suspicions that mothers must always be vigilant in protecting their children, even if they are in a seemingly safe place with trained professionals.  This doesn't mean they can never go anywhere without me, but learning to swim is a risky activity, and I want to be there when they are at risk.  I know my kids well.  I know how hard it is to keep them alive when they are precious little members of our family that I have cared for for thousands of days and nights and love with all of my heart.  Therefore, I know that no one, other than God, of course, (and I need His help) is going to look out for their best interests more than I.

Because a lot of moms read this blog I wanted to share this to encourage you to keep an eye on your kiddoes in the water, even if they are with trained professionals whom you trust.  Don't let your kids drown while they are learning how not to drown. 

In addition, work with your kids on how to scream for help if they see a friend fall in. There was a lot of screaming at my house yesterday as I encouraged my kids to practice yelling for a lifeguard.

Also, the little boy who fell in was at risk for dry drowning, which is a rare thing, but nevertheless, every mom who bathes her kids, lets them swim in the kiddie pool, or takes them to swimming lessons should at least know what it is and what the symptoms are.  Drowning doesn't have to occur only in water.  It can happen within 24 hours of a water-swalllowing episode while a child is napping.  So, become educated, and be vigilant. 
Safe Swimming to all of you!!!


Lesley said...

Oh my goodness, Lindsey, this post hit home with me. Yesterday, I dropped Aubrie off at her swimming lesson and then rushed off with the other two to do an errand. It was the first time I have EVER left her there and I was really worrying about her while I was gone. I called the YMCA first to make sure it wasn't a requirement for me to be present while she had her lesson, which it wasn't, but still...something about it bugged me. I should have listened to myself and not left her there. I kept reminding myself that she was in the presence of swim teachers and lifeguards and would be fine but your story just goes to show that isn't always enough!
I had a pit in my stomach until I came to pick her up and you wouldn't believe how good I felt when I found her sitting by the wall like a good girl, waiting for me just like I told her to, and heard her smile and say, "Hi, Mom!"

Needless to say, I won't EVER leave her at a lesson again. I will be wathing her closely.

And I just read about dry drowning too. I have never heard of that before.

Thanks for the words of caution!

LS said...

Wow Les! That is so cool that this story happened on the same day as Aubrie's lesson. I'm glad she did fine and glad this story touched you.
I know I may seem like a super paranoid mom but after seeing that I think it's better to be safe than sorry! Hope you have an awesome, safe trip to Oregon!

Lesley said...

Thanks, and I don't think you're paranoid at all! I feel the same way you do about this! If a little boy can nearly drown in front of lifeguards, then we, as moms, definitely need to keep our eyes on our kids! :) Hope to talk to you sometime soon after Aubrie and I get back! I am SO looking forward to our trip!

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