The Pool - study finds most children drown while supervised - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-21-2004, 09:54 PM
 
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I am totally in agreement with Embersmom about the overuse of floating devices, which hasn't come up much in the discussions. I think those devices (which sure weren't around when I was a kid) just by their existence, encourage parents to put small children in water deeper than they should be in. When my dd started swim lessons this year the teacher commented that she had no fear of the water and that made teaching her easier. I know it was meant as a compliment but I told her I thought fear of the water is a healthy thing for a child who doesn't know how to swim! Once she told me that, and after reading this discussion, I've been watching every lesson from the balcony like a hawk!

This is such a valuable discussion.
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Old 06-22-2004, 01:55 PM
 
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Farnd, you made a good point. At the pool i mentioned, where we are members, kids are not allowed to wear those inflated things on the arms....i cant remember what they are called. I agree, those things, and tubes as well, give parents a false sense of security. How many times have i been at other pools, the parents put those things on, plop the kids in too deep water, and proceed to sleep and sunbathe?

wrong, wrong wrong.
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Old 06-22-2004, 02:49 PM
 
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I heard something staggering the other day.

More children die every year because there is a pool in their home than because there is a gun in their home.
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Old 06-25-2004, 07:21 PM
 
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great thread!! bumping for the weekend.
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Old 06-25-2004, 09:31 PM
 
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Thank you - this is such an important thread.


We don't have a pool, but we go to the town pool often and visit friends with pools. I am hyper-vigilant about pool safety. I'm amazed at how many people think they are supervising their kids adequately when they are really just somewhere near the pool but not actually watching. Drowning is fast and silent.
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Old 06-26-2004, 10:41 PM
 
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Why is it that it is all over the media to not co-sleep with your kids, but no one says don't let your kids play in water - just safe ways to do it? Okay, maybe that is a conversation for a different thread.

Anyway, this is one of my biggest fears. We were at a community pool a few weeks ago and saw first hand how quick something terrible could happen. I was following dd#2 around the wading pool in about 18" of water. Like a pp, she didn't want me to hold her. I turned my head to talk to my sister and my sister said, "Oh no!" and pointed at Hannah. I turned and she was still standing but had bent over to stick her head in the water and couldn't seem to pull herself back up. If I hadn't been standing right next to her, who knows . . .

Another story, my BIL and SIL just bought a house with a pool and hot tub. We were there recently when it was still too cold to swim. The pool has a gate with a "childproof" latch. I was thinking how I wasn't worried about my 4yo because she would never WANT to go swimming on a cold day. A few minutes later, she and her cousin were trying to open the gate because their ball fell in the pool and they were going to try getting it out!!!
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Old 07-08-2004, 12:57 AM
 
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I had a horrifying incident last summer....

This just shows you how even when you're being careful....

DD was about 7 months old, and we were in my dh's uncle's pool.

I didn't realize that the pool sloped VERY dramatically from 3 feet to 8 feet deep (it slopes over a 2 foot space, like a cliff drop off). I'd never swam in their pool and had no clue.

so I was walking with dd in the shallow end and suddenly tripped off that "cliff".

In the process of getting myself "up" I ended up totally dunking dd and holding her under. It was the scariest thing ever, because I just PANICKED... I kept dunking her and pushing for the shallow end... it was maybe a total of 15 seconds... but it FREAKED me out. What was even worse was my dh's eyes. He was outside the pool looking right at me and his look of horror was just so scary.

Needless to say, I don't leave the EDGE of that pool with dd anymore.

And I'm a good swimmer! A VERY good swimmer.... I even took lifeguarding classes!!! And yet, in a moment of panic I almost drowned my own daughter!!

My daughter, by the way, was totally calm and didn't cough or sputter or anything.... just unaffected, thank GOD. All of us adults were freaking though!

Now, Libby has an obsession with "dunking" herself in the bathtub.... so I don't let her take a bath without ME in the tub with her... she thinks it is hilarious to fall back (or forward) and stick her head underwater.

Kimberly
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Old 07-08-2004, 01:55 AM
 
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Just another "it happens so FAST" story.......... Dh's parents have an above ground pool, I guess it's about 4 ft deep. Aidan just has a total facination with water, so after we all got out, he was still kneeling on the edge of the deck, splashing and playing. Being the paranoid parents we are (according to MIL at least), dh was standing just inches behind him, keeping an eye on him. Sure enough, after a few minutes, he leaned too far, and splash........in he went, headfirst. Dh has really fast reflexes and caught him by the ankles, and all was fine, but it was really a lesson in how fast a toddler can get into trouble. The IL's don't say we are paranoid after that incident.......


The kids really like having those floaties, of various types (rings, arm floaties, suits with the built in flotation), but we still never let them get out of arms reach, and nearly always have 1 adult per child when it's water that is deeper than they can stand in. I consider them toys, not babysitters.
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Old 07-08-2004, 11:14 AM
 
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I have two stories to share....

The first is about my uncle and his youngest son who was about 18mo at the time. My uncle owned a house that had a hot tub just outside the back doort with a pretty garden around it....no fence. My uncle had two children who were a little older...about 8 and 6 at the time. The 8 and 6 year old ran out the door and left it open. The 18mo toddled out the door and went after a ball that was floating in the hot tub and drowned. He never forgave himself.

Please fence off your pools and hot tubs....it can happen in the blink of an eye!

The second story is about my son. We were at a hotel and all of us were swimming....myself, my dh, our 5yo, our 3yo, and the 1yo. The older two kids had floaties on, and we were in the pool with them. They had out 100% undivided attention. We decided it was time to get out and dry off. We took the floaties off of them, and not two seconds later my 3yo just jumped in. It took a second for it to register in my brain what had happened. I yelled to dh to grab him. At about that point the 3yo comes bobbing to the surface trying to swim....he was doing a pretty good job to. Dh grabed him and pulled him out of the pool. I gave him one of these

He scared the crap out of me. It really does only take a second.

One thing I have found that helps be be better concentrated on the kids when they are swimming is to be IN the pool with them. Its a lot harder to let your mind wander or to be distracted when you are in the water with them. Besides, it a great way to play with your kids and be involved with what they are doing.
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Old 07-08-2004, 05:57 PM
 
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I think the key is to teach your children how to swim at an eary age (I think I was 3-4) and make sure they have a life jacket on at all times around a pool if they don't know how to swim.
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Old 07-08-2004, 06:45 PM
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The key maybe is not to not take small children to pools? It's becoming a fashion I don't understand. It's so stupid to loose a child that way! Maybe it's the myth children have to learn everything early?
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Old 07-09-2004, 08:08 PM
 
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Another bad "floatie" story and why I don't use them with my kids. Kids who wear them often get used to having them on and sometimes can forget that they are not wearing them and jump in, not being able to swim on their own with out them.

This happened at a pool party I went to with my oldest dd about 6 years ago. Only myself and one other mother were actually sitting on the side of the pool watching the children (maybe 15-20+ children all around 4 yrs). One girl had been swimming with floaties or a vest (I can't remember which) and came out and took it off. She didn't realize that she wasn't wearing it (she'd gotten used to it) and jumped in the deep end. I didn't know her and didn't know if she could swim or not but guessed probably not since I knew she had something on earlier to help her in the water. When I saw her start to sink (and quickly), I jumped in and pulled her out. I was really angry with the party hosts since they weren't even watching their own children in their pool.

Since that, I hesitate to use any kind of vest or floatie since it gives them a false sense of security. I can see life preservers in a boat but other than that, I either stick to them like glue or we pass on the pool/beach. I live in NJ. very close to the beach. but we haven't been in years, since I know I can't properly supervise 3 children (10, 4 and 1) on my own.

Stephanie, mom to 3 big girls ('94, '99 & '02) and to my little guy (12/30/09) intact & CD'ed!
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Old 07-12-2004, 10:03 PM
 
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on sat my nieghbors 18mth old dd drowned in Valle Vista Ca. He mom is a firefighter here and her dad is a police officer. Her mom found her floating in the pool


you can find their story in the press enterprise newspaper today

for everyone who has a backyard pool and thinks it IS SAFE, this is the dc of a firefighter and police officer who are very careful parents


thank you for starting this thread
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Old 07-13-2004, 08:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi,
I just looked up the article on press enterprise. It said she was in stable condition as of Sat July 10th. Is this still the case? I hope so. (((((hugs))))) to her and her family. How sad!!!
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Old 07-13-2004, 02:21 PM
 
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they did not release any more info, local press is being considerate to the family, lots of people praying for this lil girl to come home in good condition
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Old 07-13-2004, 06:06 PM
 
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It isn't just home pools. We were at a very small local pool. We were in the deep end which was 2 ft. My dd was cold and wouldn't touch the water. So we were just milling baout while my older two swimmed. (my older one is technically too old but they let close older siblings in or kids old enough to supervise (14 and up I think) SO it was crowded but there were three life guard on duty. The two pools are devided up into two 15x15 sections. One life gaurd stands on a bridge in the middle, one at the 11" end watching the kids on the slide and one at the deep end on a chair. So my kids are swimming and my baby is milling about. My friends, whose kid was old enough to play with out direct parent involvment asked me a question and I turned around to answer (don't know what I was thinking!) 30 second i tell ya. And one says "Hey is that Ava?" So then I say "where" and she says under water. Panincing I can find her. I start screaming "where is she" but no one moves to get her. The life gaurd is just picking her nose or something (she was two whole feet from us by the way) My 7 year old spots her and she is floating face up under water. It was truely the most horrifying thing I have ever seen. We both jump in (dd and I ) and big ole me jumping into 2 ft of water of course slips and wipes out. My dd grabs her and hands her to me. She is fine. Knows to hold her breath underwater at last a little while, thank goodness. I would never count on it but it did help us this time. My friend wraps us in a towel and comforts us etc. . In the meantime the life gaurd, sitting two feet from us is none the wiser that ANYTHING unusual has happened. (we pay them why?) A little girl, 8 or 9 comes over to see if everyone was OK and if we needed anything. A 9 year old for heavens sake is more concerned than the life gaurd. granted I should have been watching my baby better. No doubt about it. But what the heck are the life guards there for if they don't jump in to save a drowning baby? These are pools with kds predominately between the ages of 6 months and 4 years. Lots of them ofthen without adequate supervision. (there is a 6 kids to 1 adult maximum ratio - lots of daycares really pushing that limit). SO even at a regular pool with plenty of life gaurds andother parents it can still happen. We no longer go to the pool with friends. too distracting.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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Old 07-13-2004, 06:14 PM
 
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You can find me on Facebook. PM for info.
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Old 07-13-2004, 06:28 PM
 
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Well, I'll say one thing for our local community pool. It may be in a crappy neighbourhood, but they strictly enforce a one child=one adult policy for all children under a certain age (I'm not sure exactly what that age is, but have seen them do it for kids who look about 3 or 4). I can't believe the number of groups who come in with one adult and, like, 3 young children!

As much as reading this thread makes me ill (thank god, lilyka, that ava was okay!!!) thinking about going through that, I'm so glad it is here.

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Old 07-29-2004, 02:21 PM
 
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My dh was a lifeguard for 6 years, and at the pool he worked at, the kids weren't allowed to use those stupid water wings for 2 reasons. 1) is that they give kids a false sense of security, and 2) is that the way those wings sit on their arms interferes with their arm motions.
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Old 07-29-2004, 03:08 PM
 
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Water wings arent allowed at our pool either. Thank God. As it is, many parents let their kids roam, while they lie down, snooze and tan. I saw one woman yesterday put the stupid wing things on, plop her 3 year old in 4ft water, then proceed to lie down and snooze. It didnt take long for the lifegurad to tell the woman no float devices, and she about had a fit.

I will never understand some people. Like i said earlier in this thread, Nicholas almost drowned right in front of me with that inflatable dolphin.

We had an above ground pool i florida. It was beautiful. However, my kids were 8 & 11, and excellent swimmers. My youngest was just born. But what kept me up at night was the pond in our back yard! It was 10 feet deep in the middle, with a sharp drop a few feet out from the shallow part. it was stocked with fish and had little minnows that my eight year old loved to catch in a cup and a little net. I had remote cameras out there, from the roof, that sent the signal to my TV, and i had a device that would alarm should someone fall or plop in. Finally, i had the damn thing filled, and it cost me almost $6000!

But peace of mind is priceless.
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Old 08-03-2004, 05:28 PM
 
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When I was 7 yo and my cousins were 3 yo and 10 mo, my mom, aunt, and the Tupperware lady were sitting poolside, eating sandwiches and chatting. My 3 yo cousin and I were playing in the shallow end of the pool and the baby was floating around in a turtle float. Well, I saw the float turn upside down, screamed for my aunt and started swimming towards her. My scream got my aunt's attention, she jumped in the water with her clothes on and saved the baby.

Baby could have drowned if I hadn't been there--the grownups thought they were watching us but they really weren't paying attention Fortunately she was only underwater for a few seconds so she was fine except for her ear infection getting worse.

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Old 08-08-2004, 02:26 PM
 
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Thanks for this thread. I just finished swimming lesssons with both my kids this summer and they seem so much more comfortable in the water, but I am aware that with this comes a new danger. Because they are children, they don't know their own limitations. (They are 2 and 4.) So, now my 4 year old loves to jump in the big pool all by herself and go under the water, then comes up and is fine as long as an adult is there to grab her and put her back on the wall. But what if she decides to just do it on her own? I will not let her out of my sight at the pool. What do they say? A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. I think swim lessons are VERY important, but in the meantime between now and a few years from now, when they can really swim, they have to be watched even more carefully. Edie
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Old 08-09-2004, 12:16 AM
 
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ITA with most everything here.

A couple of things I wanted to share

The best thing my kids camp does is have a day when they have to jump in the pool with all of their clothes, including shoes on! This is one on one supervised with a lifegaurd for each child (they do 3 at a time). It helps kids who fall into a pool or lake or from a boat know what to do. They teach how to kick off their shoes and get out of heavy clothing. Its a great idea and was worth the price of camp.

Me and my girlfriend watch our kids like hawks at the pool, even though they are not babies and can swim well. One day my friend says to me : "I know I won't need to watch Danielle in the pool when she's 21, but somehow I just don't believe it." LOL!!!
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Old 08-26-2004, 12:59 AM
 
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I don't know if this has already been mentioned, if so I apoligize. But it's not just beaches, lakes and pool that parents and caregivers need to REALLY supervise (supervise as in being within arms reach and in sight). Bathtubs, toliets and buckets of water are also killers. I remember last summer a little boy went head first into a buck while grandma was cleaning house. It was too late for that little boy. When my second baby was only about 18 months old, I was kneeling down by the bathtub and she went under. Only under a second, if that, but had I been blow drying my hair or stepped out for a minute ... who knows. I have never been comfortable leaving them alone in the bathtub EVER. When she went under, she did so very quietly. I was very happy that *I* was within arm's reach to quickly pull her back up. It isn't always the case. There was another situation a few summers ago where the mom went DOWNSTAIRS to answer the door. I forget how old her baby was but she left him/her in the tub. The child also died. I wish more parents and caregivers would take water more seriously.
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Old 05-11-2007, 12:59 PM
 
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Bumping because this is important!

He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.  ~Albert Einstein
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Old 05-11-2007, 11:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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nice to see these threads bumped again. i've tried to bump or repost them every year - i am glad someone remembered!
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Old 05-11-2007, 11:20 PM
 
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I understand being alert and present minded. That is important.

Let's not be blinded by fear though. I've been hearing so much fear from mothers IRL and on MDC lately I just wanted to remind us to be attentive but not so fearful. I've heard about fear of drowning in a toilet, fear of going to a pool at all with young children, fear of playing outside, fear of walking in the woods, fear of spiders and little critters, fear of dogs and wild animals, fear of the sun exposure, and on and on. Let your children explore and have fun and experience nature and of course, be mindful along the way to take care of ourselves and each other.

Have a fun and safe summer!
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Old 05-12-2007, 05:27 AM
 
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Glad to see this thread bumped. My older son almost drowned in a pool last year, with three completely sober and attentive adults present. It really only takes a second, and it is completely silent.
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Old 05-12-2007, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey I am all about not getting sucked into the fear, but I must say Marybeth I find your post to be a little off if you look at the context of this thread.

This is a *scientific* study which shows that most children drown while supervised. Its not a "don't take your kids to the pool" thread.
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Old 06-24-2007, 11:34 AM
 
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Bumping this again, because the information in the OP is important.

He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.  ~Albert Einstein
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