Tennessee Pre-Schooler Saves Baby Sister from Drowning
When I was 7-years-old, we were on vacation and had stopped at a motel for the night. Dad always made sure we'd find a place for the night EARLY enough so we could all go swimming.
BE ALERT AROUND KIDS AND SWIMMING POOLS
On this particular occasion, I ran toward the pool while yelling, "Hey Dad, look!" I was jumping into the deep end for the first time in my life, and he didn't know I'd grown comfortable doing that at my swimming lessons. Needles to say, it scared him to death and he jumped right in after me only to learn I was perfectly fine. But thank goodness for his reaction time, right?
But that story does NOT mean you have to be a grown-up to be a fast thinker and quick on your feet. Nope, all you have to be, sometimes, is 4-years-old. That's how old Gray Forrester was--he's 5 now--when he became a hero to his family and an inspiration to just about everyone who learns his story.
QUICK-THINKING 4-YEAR-OLD RESCUES BABY SISTER
What struck me about the whole ordeal was that Laura Forrester had no idea that her 2-year-old daughter Andie had fallen into the family swimming pool only to be rescued by Gray. She learned of the near-tragedy when the children came to her soaking wet gleefully describing the incident.
Laura said she panicked and she probably had to sit down a minute to process what almost happened.
Despite all kinds of precautions taken by the Forrester family with regards to the family pool--safety fence, beeps on the door, STRICT instructions not to go near the pool without an adult present--her toddler managed to get into the water anyway.
If kids that young are ANYTHING, they're deeply curious, and sometimes parents just don't have enough eyes.
When my parents were living in an apartment complex 25 years ago, we were all out by the pool, and it was packed that day. A little girl started heading toward the pool as fast as she could go, and no one was stopping her. Sure enough, she jumped into the water. Thankfully, my sister had been keeping an eye on her, leapt from her chair, ran to the side of the pool and pulled the child out of the water before her head went under.
DROWNING DEATH STATISTICS
You want to hear something even more chilling? The CDC says that unintentional drowning death rates are highest among children aged 1-4, although that number has decreased--from 3.2% in 1999 to 2.4% in 2019.
Summertime is upon us and kids (and adults) will be filling up pools and lakes across the country. Let's make it a SAFE summertime and bone up on swimming pool safety.