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6yr old Drowned at our Gym pool... - Page 4

post #61 of 105
Ughh.. how horrible! It's amazing that it all worked out well in the end.

The gym is covering their butts. They can't just talk to you over the phone. I am sure they were told to be quiet. So, I'd just drop it for now.

I hope the dad was just in shock or denial. But, it sure made him look like an idiot. As if making jokes could make this not real. (My dad was like that.. he would have walked away)

Kids drown.. even under the best conditions. Obviously, if Dad had been paying attention, he might have noticed. But, it's so incredibly common here in Arizona. Each time, I wonder "How could that happen??" But, I don't ever say it out loud, because it happens, and it could happen to me one day. Kids don't fight it, they just silently go under and they never flail or make noise. It's so silent. I've had kids I was watching go under like this. I stand up and look at them and think "Well, get UP!", but they don't. You have to go after them.
post #62 of 105
How traumatic for you and the girls! How is the girl who found him doing? Has she been to a counselor? I can't imagine being a part of something like that as an adult, let alone a 10 year old child.

I agree that you should contact the media, and talk to the mother to see how Mikey is doing.

I'm so glad you were all able to save that little boy. You are most definitely a hero.
post #63 of 105


Thank you for being that child's momma bear when he needed one.

I have seen people starting to drown and been the one screaming for help with blase lifeguards not paying attention.

Last year, my DH was faster than 911, going to buy benadryl and coming back while I was having an anaphylactic reaction to an abx.

The more 'emergencies' I encounter in my life the more I realize you can't rely on anyone to do anything even if it is their job.

V
post #64 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by MandyB View Post
Thank you for your responses, and for even getting through the whole post! I asked them why they don't have lifeguards (I think I always thought the deck employees were lifeguards, but they just didnt announce it so people would watch their kids, ya know?) He told me they have no lifeguards on PURPOSE because then people by law would be allowed to leave their kids at the pool and go work out, and they don't want them doing that. I'm in CA...anyone know if this is true?
I can't imagine that's true. We're not in CA, but at our Y, we have lifeguards, but parents still have to stay with children under a certain age (not sure what because mine are 3 and 5. Children are only to be left in the childcare center while you're working out.

Yes, I would call the gym repeatedly. At this point, I'd actually probably just show up and insist that I be seen. Who owns the gym? Could you contact that person instead of the manager? If I owned the business, I'd want to know about something like that. I would imagine the swim instructor who helped you needs some kind of closure, too, and it probably would be beneficial to both of you to talk to someone at the gym about what happened. I would think for the sake of liability that someone would have asked for your side of the story already.

Who knows why the dad wasn't watching, but he probably was in shock when you and the swim instructor were doing CPR. I've seen plenty of people who just shut down. We had a friend whose daughter died, and she seemed totally calm through the whole thing. It wasn't until months later that she broke down over it, but many people thought it was weird that she acted like nothing was wrong during the wake & funeral. Without anything telling me anything else, I'd say it probably was an automatic coping mechanism.
post #65 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by MandyB View Post
The reason I think they AREN'T talking to the employees is because everytime it's been mentioned, nobody seems to know about it. One daycare employee asked another manager if she knew about it, and she told the same wierd story the front desk person is telling. They're saying he was in a swim lesson with the instructor {um, no} and got over exhausted, so the instructor began CPR. The story doesn't even make sense! Why would you do CPR unless he was gone?!
I just wanted to add that there may be confidentiality concerns - employee's may have been instructed not to talk about it to ensure confidentiality. The gym's lawyers have most likely told everyone to keep their mouths shut.

ETA - i was a lifeguard for about 5 years, and I will never entrust my child's life to a lifeguard. I was a good guard, I had good guards that I worked with, I made several saves (but never performed CPR on anyone - at the YMCA camp I worked at we were required to notice and respond within 30seconds of a child going under, and same at the cuty pools I worked at). But, that said, some of the lifeguards I have seen are absolutely DISGRACEFUL and shouldn't be working. I also won't go to any pools that don't have lifeguards, b/c I tend to still sweep the pool and watch kids carefully.
post #66 of 105
Thank God for YOU! I bet that this boy will always remember the lady and two men saving his life!
post #67 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by thyra View Post
But, that said, some of the lifeguards I have seen are absolutely DISGRACEFUL and shouldn't be working. .
I live next to a very large waterpark. Last year, my 16 yr old's friends were hired as lifeguards. I was shocked. Two of these friends are the dippiest girls in the entire town. How on earth they were hired to protect kids is beyond me. These girls took some lifeguard training classes, and that's all they had to do. There is absolutely no way, these kids would have reacted correctly in an emergency. (the other girl would be awesome in an emergency)

I lost all faith in the wisdom of waterpark management after that.
post #68 of 105
Slightly OT but important:

Quote:
Originally Posted by pigpokey View Post
I have had PTSD. It sucks. You may benefit from not being in the building for a while.
This. I just wanted to say your first post had PTSD written all over it. PTSD is the natural, normal reaction to such a violent, traumatic event. Take care of yourself. Find a way for you to get through this, at the pace you need. Maybe you will want to talk with a therapist who has dealt with PTSD, maybe you will want to write about it, maybe you will have to talk about it 500 more times... whatever it is, find they way to take care of yourself.
post #69 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeguard View Post
It sounds like the father was probably in shock - many people are completely immobolized by shock.
Yeah this. I am one of those people. I can't imagine being immobile if one of my kids was in danger, but, I remember working in a bookstore when one of our customers just keeled over. I just totally froze. I was waiting for her to get back up. Fortunately my coworkers called an ambulance and called out to see if there was a doctor in the house (there were two browsing for books!) while I just stood there stupidly.

But also what other people said--please take care of yourself right now, it must have been a very traumatic experience and I'm sure it will take awhile to recover.

Thank God the boy was ok.
post #70 of 105
Thank you for acting when others couldn't.

First, take care of you. You have been through an incomprehensible ordeal, and you need to process this.

If/when you feel up to it, here are some things you may want to suggest that the gym adopt:

1. Recommend that the gym hire lifeguards that are adult-child-infant CPR/AED trained. CPR/AED may be a lifeguard requirement anyway, but specifying this training is never a bad idea.

2. If they can't/won't employ lifeguards, recommend that the gym require that every member acknowledge in writing that there are no lifeguards available. Have them post large signs in the swimming area (if they don't already have them) that there are no lifeguards available. Have them require that the deck guards have CPR/AED training for adult/child/infant.

3. Recommend that they post a simple CPR guide, much like the choking guides that you see posted in restaurants. http://depts.washington.edu/learncpr/quickcpr.html and http://depts.washington.edu/learncpr/childrencpr.html have great examples. This could be posted in the pool area and in other areas of the gym as well.

4. Have them purchase an AED and KEEP IT IN AN AREA OF THE GYM AWAY FROM THE POOL. This is important because current CPR guidelines recommend rescue breathing and chest compressions for two minutes on children under about age 8 before using an AED. Most children under age 8 will respond to CPR best. If the AED is more than a two minutes' run away from the pool area, that would be ideal.

If you decide to approach the mother, tread very gently. I can't imagine my child almost dying in my absence, and if the story she has heard is substantially different from what actually happened, it could be very difficult for her to process. I would personally not include any details about the child's father's reaction. Although shocking and inappropriate to bystanders, I honestly heard a dad who was helpless and embarassed by his own helplessness, rather than an abusive or uncaring person.

Phew! What a stressful situation. Take some time and space for yourself, mama.
post #71 of 105
Hooray for you and a healthy ending.

I'm in CA and we have lifeguards at my gym/pool. Many of them. Usually 5 lifeguards for one 25 yeard pool plus 2 foot kiddie pool. ANd they are all really well trained
There's a sign posted that ONLY children who can swim halfway across the pool, swim back and exit the pool by the side (not the steps) are allowed in the pool without a parent IN THE POOL
post #72 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by pigpokey View Post
There is only one person responsible for the child: his parents.

If you want to blame the pool, blame them for not kicking the kid out of the pool when his father didn't get in with him.

I would tell the mom.

Thank goodness you were there and took care of him when his father was not.


As someone who almost drowned as a child--thank you for your quick action and to your friends' girls for finding the boy. I think it's pretty terrible that the gym's employees didn't know what to do, but also think the responsibility lies squarely at the father's feet as he was the supervising parent who brought the child to the pool and there were clearly no lifeguards on duty. At my gym the "deck supervisors" are just glorified janitors so I'm not too surprised at what happened, assuming your gym is anything like mine at least. (BTW I'm also in CA... I almost wonder if it's the same chain of gyms.)

I would find a way to talk to the mom about it and see what she thinks happened--and give her more info if needed. Maybe dad was just in shock or maybe there is something else up, and I think mom ought to have all the pieces of info so she can make a judgment whether she can send her son off with his dad by themselves again.
post #73 of 105
I had a hard time separating the two dad issues but my husband (to whom I told this story) helped me see it.

1) Dad's reaction was ... baffling. Some have pointed out it could have been shock.

2) Dad left a 6 year old child completely unsupervised in a pool for long enough for him to drown, be found by non-lifeguards (that is, people who were not watching him) and have life support begun.

We don't know if the reaction was blase or shock - it makes me sick to my stomach but I admit he could be a loving, concerned father who was having trouble grasping the situation even when they carted him away in an ambulance (I can't believe he didn't get in the ambulance either... you have a terrified 6 year old who drowned, you stay with him. You deal with the car or whatever later).

But, the lack of supervision is something else. I fervently hope the gravity of the situation has sunk in with the father. I have made safety mistakes myself (none with serious consequences I'm glad to say), and while I can't see myself making this particular one, I can see how a loving and concerned parent might have just, I don't know, gone to the bathroom to take a dump or something, figuring his kid was a good swimmer and in water he could stand up in, and that taking a dump would only take a couple minutes. A very bad decision but you can see someone making it.

It's the combination of the lack of supervision and the (non) reaction to the drowning that makes me sick to my stomach. If he had indeed left his son and came back to find him drowned and reacted like I would imagine most people would, I would have felt like "whew, glad this turned out ok." But you combine blase parenting and blase reaction to a death (even if revived) - it just makes me want to throw up.

I can only hope that it's sunk in with him by now.
post #74 of 105
This was posted on Facebook today by Kellymom.com. Could be useful to many of us reading this thread:
http://gcaptain.com/maritime/blog/drowning?10981
post #75 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirogi View Post
Thank you for acting when others couldn't.

First, take care of you. You have been through an incomprehensible ordeal, and you need to process this.

If/when you feel up to it, here are some things you may want to suggest that the gym adopt:

1. Recommend that the gym hire lifeguards that are adult-child-infant CPR/AED trained. CPR/AED may be a lifeguard requirement anyway, but specifying this training is never a bad idea.

2. If they can't/won't employ lifeguards, recommend that the gym require that every member acknowledge in writing that there are no lifeguards available. Have them post large signs in the swimming area (if they don't already have them) that there are no lifeguards available. Have them require that the deck guards have CPR/AED training for adult/child/infant.

3. Recommend that they post a simple CPR guide, much like the choking guides that you see posted in restaurants. http://depts.washington.edu/learncpr/quickcpr.html and http://depts.washington.edu/learncpr/childrencpr.html have great examples. This could be posted in the pool area and in other areas of the gym as well.

4. Have them purchase an AED and KEEP IT IN AN AREA OF THE GYM AWAY FROM THE POOL. This is important because current CPR guidelines recommend rescue breathing and chest compressions for two minutes on children under about age 8 before using an AED. Most children under age 8 will respond to CPR best. If the AED is more than a two minutes' run away from the pool area, that would be ideal.

If you decide to approach the mother, tread very gently. I can't imagine my child almost dying in my absence, and if the story she has heard is substantially different from what actually happened, it could be very difficult for her to process. I would personally not include any details about the child's father's reaction. Although shocking and inappropriate to bystanders, I honestly heard a dad who was helpless and embarassed by his own helplessness, rather than an abusive or uncaring person.

Phew! What a stressful situation. Take some time and space for yourself, mama.

I loved your post - you had so many excellent , practical, productive suggestions.

To the OP, huge hugs. I've never been in a situation like the one you described, but I did pull an unattended toddler from our local pool last summer. I was shocked and angry that no one else noticed him go under, and that I had to search for his parents. For my own sanity, I have to believe that this was one of those one-time mistakes made by otherwise good parents, and just be greatful that on that day, I noticed and acted (even when I felt really silly running across the pool without being 100% sure his parents weren't already on their way).
post #76 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by lotusdebi View Post
This was posted on Facebook today by Kellymom.com. Could be useful to many of us reading this thread:
http://gcaptain.com/maritime/blog/drowning?10981
Very interesting read, thanks for linking.

OP, thanks for being that little boy's hero. Many hugs to you mama.
post #77 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by lotusdebi View Post
This was posted on Facebook today by Kellymom.com. Could be useful to many of us reading this thread:
http://gcaptain.com/maritime/blog/drowning?10981
I was just about to post that link!
post #78 of 105
Thank you so much for being there for this little boy. My heart broke when I read it but we must remember life is precious and to be extra safe this summer!
post #79 of 105
I think it sounds like the dad was in shock. My husband had an accident in November... home repairs and a beam fell on his head. I remember hesitating about giving him one of my *good* towels to catch the blood... and joking in the car as I was driving him to the ER that he just did this so he can cut his hair again (I like it long, he likes it short). It seems so horrible now, I mean I didn't even know if he had a skull fracture or major brain damage (no, and minor) and here I am making stupid jokes and worrying about stupid towels. Trauma is a very strange thing.
post #80 of 105
Quote:
i had a hard time separating the two dad issues but my husband (to whom i told this story) helped me see it.

1) dad's reaction was ... Baffling. Some have pointed out it could have been shock.

2) dad left a 6 year old child completely unsupervised in a pool for long enough for him to drown, be found by non-lifeguards (that is, people who were not watching him) and have life support begun.
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