Kentucky Mom Reminds Parents of Water Safety in Light of Son’s Near Drowning [VIDEO]
May is National Water Safety Month! As public and private pools open all over one Kentucky Mom wants to remind you of the importance of always being alert around the water.
REMEMBERING MY SON'S NEAR DROWNING
It was a very hot summer August day and my husband (at the time) had taken our boys to go swimming at his parent's house. I had plans with a few of my girlfriends and was going to be joining them later that afternoon. Our plans were cut short and I ended up arriving earlier than I was originally supposed to at my in-laws. The boys were just getting out to take a nap when I got there Parker was three and Braden was 18 months old. I scooped Braden up into my arms and took him to the back bedroom to dry him off and change him. Memaw had Parker in the kitchen.
We had just started potty training Parker and he didn't have a water pull-up on that day. He had an accident on the floor and as grandparents do his Memaw didn't want him to get in trouble so she quietly took him outside and sat him on the deck on the swing so she could clean him up. She told him to stay still because she was going to get a towel. She walked inside to get a towel and returned less than a minute later to find Parker had jumped down and into the pool and was now at the bottom. She screamed for the boy's dad and I knew immediately what had happened. I heard Kyle hit the water and I began to dial 911. Before I could finish he was in the house telling me I needed to get outside and do CPR because Parker wasn't breathing.
I rushed outside to find my little boy lifeless and blue. I began giving him CPR and after two rounds of rescue breaths his chest rose and water gushed from his lungs as I turned him over.
This photo was taken the very next summer after our experience. Several measures were put in place to make sure our boys and every other child that would visit to swim were safe.
A HAPPY ENDING KEEPS US REMINDING OTHERS
As I type I am completely thankful my son, Parker is alive and well today and turned 19 in February. It could have been so different if we had gotten to him just a few seconds later. If we weren't trained in CPR. There are tons of what-ifs that have reminded us for years now we have to respect the water and the power of what it can do to a person.
WATER SAFETY FACTS & TIPS
According to StopDrowningNow.com, the #1 cause of death in children at 1-4 is drowning and 3,400 people drown every year. Taking the necessary precautions and being alert at all times around the water is of the utmost importance.
Here are some Safety Tips from Safekids.org;
Watch kids when they are in or around the water. Keep young children and weak swimmers within arm’s reach of an adult. Make sure more experienced swimmers are with a partner every time.
Choose a Water Watcher. When there are several adults present, choose one to be responsible for watching children in or near the water for a certain period of time, such as 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, select another adult to be the Water Watcher.
Teach children how to swim. Every child is different, so enroll children in swim lessons when they are ready. Consider their age, development, and how often they are around water.
Make sure kids learn these five water survival skills. Step or jump into water over their head and return to the surface. Turn around in the water and orient to safety. Float or tread water. Combine breathing with forwarding movement in the water. Exit the water.
Teach children that swimming in open water is different from swimming in a pool. Be aware of situations that are unique to open water, such as limited visibility, depth, uneven surfaces, currents, and undertow. These potential hazards can make swimming in open water more challenging than swimming in a pool.
Learn CPR and basic water rescue skills.
Remember to even keep watch the kiddos in the smallest amount of water.
I am so grateful to report Parker is in college today. Thriving and doing well. That day taught us so much respect for the water.
We are fortunate enough here in Owensboro to have multiple places that teach swim lessons.
The Owensboro Family YMCA has swim lessons all year long and they do an excellent job of preparing kids for the water.
The Owensboro Healthpark also offers lessons.
The Owensboro Parks & Recreation Department offers swim lessons at both Combest and Cravens pools throughout the summer.