GoodGrandma℠ is always concerned about water safety! But even more so from what happened seventeen years ago! We had an accident that has made the importance of water safety intensify. Andrew, age 15 months, was in his bib overalls, white onesie shirt, and little white socks cursing around the house as we did new homeowner projects. It was February 3rd and it was starting to warm up in Las Vegas. After being in and out of the house most of the morning, the deadbolt on the front door did not get turned all the way and was left unlocked.
I ran upstairs and when returning back downstairs I found the front door open. I went into the family room and not seeing Andrew I went back to the front door and outside to start looking for my little guy. I walked the length of the house and saw my neighbors back gate propped open. This was alarming because they had an unfenced pool. I ran over the rocks to their backyard to find Andrew floating face down in the pool. I stepped in and grabbed him and wrapped my arms around him cradling him to my chest. As I did this I started yelling, “Call 9-1-1!” What seemed like forever, I watched as his dad did mouth to mouth and I prayed aloud asking God to not take him now. Finally, Andrew began to vomit water and whimpered. He then went into shock as the paramedics arrived. Andrew arrived at the hospital with a body temperature of 92 degrees. They put him under heating lamps and heated blankets. It was the cold February water that saved him. I stayed with him at the hospital through the night. They kept him only to monitor him and be sure he didn’t get pneumonia. It was a terrifying experience, one I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Andrew is now 18 years old and is a healthy and happy young man. It was an absolute miracle he survived and did not experience any brain damage.
GoodGrandma would like to share a few tips about water safety now that it’s officially summer. Here is a helpful list from Pathways.org:
- Don’t leave your child unattended, even for a second, near water — including bathtubs!
- Have all caregivers become trained in CPR in case of an emergency.
- If you have a pool cover, ensure it is completely removed before swimming and do not allow your child to walk or crawl on it.
- Enforce rules around the pool. Children should not run near the pool or push others underwater.
- Make it clear that some activities, like bike riding, should not be done near the water.
- Flotation devices are not a substitute for supervision. Always stay within an arm’s length from a baby.
- Life jackets should always be worn when riding on a boat.
- The AAP says children are not typically ready for formal swim lessons before their first birthday. But remember: swimming lessons are meant to increase a child’s comfort level in the water, but does not replace caregiver supervision!