|Image from mariovittone.com|
The other morning on Twitter I followed this link and was saddened to read about yet another toddler's death by drowning. It's all too common, isn't it?
Years ago, friends of mine had neighbours with whom they were very close. Their neighbours had two kids and they also had a pool, and my friends and their three daughters spent many hours over there, playing together in it.
The neighbours were doing some renovations, and from memory, their back door was like their pool gate. The workmen had to prop it open so they could gain access to the backyard, and so the neighbours watched both children whilst in the house to make sure they didn't get access to the pool.
However, as it happens in many families, including my own, at one point both parents discovered their four year-old son was missing - both thinking he was with the other. They immediately ran out to the pool, only to discover him at the bottom of it...not moving. Lying beside the pool was his new water gun that he had received for his birthday just days before. No doubt, he had attempted to fill it and had slipped in to the water.
They had heard nothing. Not even the slightest splash.
In this instance, the boy was successfully resuscitated and survived. However, he had been deprived of oxygen for too long and he became severely affected and will never lead a normal life. Nor will his parents or sister for that matter, as he will require constant supervision and assistance for the rest of his life.
A friend of mine recently sent me a link to this post by Mario Vittone (mariovittone.com) who has nineteen years of combined military service in the US Navy and Coast Guard (thanks Nicole!). He has written a very informative and thought provoking message about drowning. Drowning doesn't look like drowning. Much of what we see on television - people thrashing around, shouting for help - is not actually, in reality, how someone drowns. Please read it and please pass the message on. Every life lost is yet another tragedy that just should never have happened.
As Mario writes in his post, "...children playing in the water make noise. When they get quiet, you go to them and find out why."
Stay safe this summer.