or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › Family Safety › potential beach danger for children - how my son almost died in a sand hole collapse
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

potential beach danger for children - how my son almost died in a sand hole collapse

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure if this is the right forum for this post (if not, could someone point me in the right direction?)

My family recently survived a horrifying experience, and I am trying to get the word out in hopes of preventing this kind of accident for others. Earlier this month, we almost lost one of our 3 y.o. sons due to a spontaneous sand hole cave-in. He fell in a hole that some other children had dug and it collapsed on him - burying him completely. Though it happened only 5-6 feet away from me, neither dh nor I realized what had occurred. I was setting up beach chairs while dh watched the boys - I asked dh a question and in the time it took for him to turn his head to me and answer, our son disappeared. For 5 horrifying minutes we searched the water and the beach for my son, thinking the worst. Then a woman (our personal angel, for whom I will be saying prayers of gratitude for the rest of my life) thought to look in the sand, where she noticed an indentation. There he was, buried, sand 8-10 inches over his head. And he ended up totally okay. [You can read the whole saga here on my blog.]

I later learned that this was not the freak accident I thought, but something that has happened to other children, the majority of whom have died from the accident. (the link above includes a link to an article about a doctor who has started compiling a database of this kind of thing) CBS is doing a story on sand hole collapses tomorrow on the Early Show, July 24th, 7:30a.m. [sorry I didn't get over here sooner to let y'all know - things have been a bit nuts], and they interviewed us for it.

I am trying to get the word out as widely as possible that this can happen. It is totally preventable, and I think the more parents know about the potential danger the less likely it is to happen to others.
It is so easy to prevent:
1 - Don't dig holes deeper than waist-height of the shortest person around. The hole my son fell into was not terribly deep. But it was deep enough to swallow him up when it caved in.
2 - If you (or your children) do dig holes, fill them up when you're done. That alone would've prevented our near-tragedy.
3 - When you arrive at the beach, scout out the area you will be setting up in, checking for holes. Teach your children to come tell you if they find holes other have dug, and to not play in or near them.
4 - Keep as sharp an eye on your children on the sand as you would in the water.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I know that what we went through was a rare experience, but because it was needless and totally preventable, I feel like raising awareness of this possibility would make it possible to eliminate this kind of threat entirely.
post #2 of 41
What a terrifying situation. It just makes me sick to my stomach to think about what you must have been going through. I am so glad he's ok. And THANK YOU for bringing some attention to this. I have never heard of this.
post #3 of 41
Sorry to hear about your scary experience. We live near the water and I hadn't heard about anything like this.
post #4 of 41
Earthchick, may I reproduce your post on other forums? I know some appropriate places where parents may be reading.
post #5 of 41
I'm so glad that your son is okay!
post #6 of 41
I am glad your son is ok. I have heard of this happening before I forget what tv station it was on tho.
post #7 of 41

potential beach danger for children - how my son almost died in a sand hole collapse

I can imagine how terrified you must have been. I'm glad everything worked out okay.
post #8 of 41
I am so glad your son is ok and thank you for posting this!
post #9 of 41
I'm so glad your little one is okay!
post #10 of 41
There was a story on Dateline or one of those news shows where a 17 year old boy died that way. He fell in head first catching a football, if I recall correctly, and was covered instantly--everyone saw it happen and though his friends tried to get him out, they were unsuccessful. The hole was really deep and this kid was almost 6 feet tall.
I live at the ocean front and the tourists come here and do this ALL the time. I haven't figured out a way to say--hey, that's dangerous, please don't--and I guess they have every right to do so--but I do try to keep my kids away from this type of thing. By the end of the day there are tons of holes all over the place. People don't have the courtesy to fill them up--or pick up their own trash, but that's another story.
Thanks for the information--this is a topic that I think about all the time because of where we live.
post #11 of 41
thank goodness for the woman who thought to look in the sand!

i live in a coastal state and i remember hearing about a guy in his early twenties who died in a sand hole collapse several years ago. i think they're especially dangerous if they have steep walls.
post #12 of 41
just read your blog entry, too, and wanted to say that your words are beautiful. you're a wonderful writer. the panic and fear and relief are all very palpable in your blog. to you and all yours and especially to your little guy.
post #13 of 41
How scary. I am sooooo glad he is ok. I have heard of this, but hadn't given it much thought for some reason, but I now will as we are going to the beach in Sept. Thanks for getting this very important message out.
post #14 of 41
I cringe every time I see kids digging a deep hole in the sand. Next time I go to the beach I will be on the lookout and warn other moms. So glad he is ok. How horrifying.
post #15 of 41
Thread Starter 
Thanks, y'all, for your kind words. We are incredibly fortunate with how things turned out, esp. since no one witnessed my son falling in (the Early Show correspondent this morning said he crawled in, but we feel pretty sure that was not the case - he himself said he fell in.)

To Lady Lilya, yes! Absolutely feel free to reproduce my post on any other forums. Everyone, please feel free to pass along either this post, or my blog post, or a combination. I feel like the only way to prevent this kind of tragedy is for people to know it can actually happen, so I am eager to get the word out to as many parents as possible.
post #16 of 41
Thank you for posting this. I remember hearing stories like this before, but soo many people don't know that this isn't a freak accident.
post #17 of 41
I used to work in the office of a construction company, and this is actually the top construction-related accident - when they dig trenches to work in and don't secure the sides and the trenches collapse in.

I'm glad all is well and thank you for posting this warning.
post #18 of 41
Holy crap. I had no idea. Thank you so much for sharing your experience, I'm so glad your ds is okay. I'm off to send out that article to all the mamas I know.
post #19 of 41
I am so glad your son is ok! Thanks for sharing the information, I will remember it for my little cousins and for when I have kids!
post #20 of 41
Wow, I'm so glad your little boy is alive and without brain damage! I had no idea something like that could happen. Thanks for posting this and I'll be telling all my friends!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Family Safety
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › Family Safety › potential beach danger for children - how my son almost died in a sand hole collapse