Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Fear for the fearless

I watched my 2-year old daughter, Bella, step into the pool, walk down the stairs and immediately start reaching and walking towards the toys that were floating nearby. A very small part of me thought she will take well to her swimming lessons, but the larger part of me became so much more aware of how easily it is for a child to drown.

Bella always looking her best

When my child entered the pool she didn’t even seem to acknowledge there was water around her. She looked as comfortable in that pool as she does on land. We call her our fearless one because she is determined and intent and while I can’t wait to see where that gets her in her life’s goals, right now providing her the right tools and skills to keep her alive is our ultimate goal. Her twin brother, Jack, didn’t really have this issue – he was the crier – not because he didn’t like the water but because the instructor took him away from mom for a brief moment. Halfway through the lesson he realized he comes back, so the crying stopped and all the attendees at the pool were thankful.
Jack after his breakdown
By lesson two, Bella was blowing bubbles and had her head fully submerged in the water. As the instructor brought her back to the steps, she said “fearless for sure,” and I said the main reason she is here.
Our yard doesn’t have a pool, but grandma does and with frequent visits there I am constantly reminded it only takes a few seconds (avg. 20 seconds), long enough to answer the phone, send a text or run to the bathroom, for a child to drown.
As parents our guard must be up, and we must be prepared. 
Here are some tips to help protect our kids:
·         Supervision is without a doubt the most important rule to pool safety.
·         Get your kids swimming lessons (and if you don’t know how to swim, get them for yourself).
·         Pools should be fenced and gated using self-closing, self latching gates open outward and have latches above the reach of children like the MagnaLatch and TruClose gate hinges from D&D Technologies.
·         Remove items like tables and chairs from the fence, as children will climb on anything.
·         Learn CPR and how to use safety equipment.