The pool - most children drown while supervised. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 59 Old 06-13-2006, 07:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Every year for the past two years I have posted this link. It is as relevant this year, as any other.

Keep kids safe - keep a "lifeguard" or designated adult near the pool at all time while children are swimming. It truly is a matter of life or death.

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But recent research from the National SAFE KIDS Campaign shows that nearly 9 out of 10 children between ages 1 and 14 who drowned were under supervision when they died. The study defined supervision as being in someone's care, not necessarily in direct line of sight.
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Adequate supervision means not sitting poolside reading, socializing with guests, chatting on the phone, operating the grill or listening to music with a headset. Such distractions are deadly, child trauma experts said.
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The SAFE KIDS study examined data from 496 child-drowning deaths from 2000 and 2001 from 17 states and found that 88 percent of the drowning victims were under supervision.
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#2 of 59 Old 06-13-2006, 07:07 PM
 
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I live in Arizona. I think we have the highest drowning rate in the US. I watched a child go under. He was four years old. (my day care child) He jumped in, forgetting he was not wearing floaties.

I watched him for a few moments before going in after him. He did NOTHING! He didn't try to stand up (It was shallow water) He didn't flail, he didn't reach for the wall. NOTHING! I was shocked. And kinda mad.

Most people assume you will HEAR a child drown, but they don't make a sound. They just sit on the bottom and wait for an adult to get them.
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#3 of 59 Old 06-13-2006, 08:01 PM
 
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Thanks for posting this again! I was at a pool party this weekend and mentioned this fact to everyone who would listen! We had rotating "life guard" duty -someone who was sitting at the edge of the pool, watching with a close eye. Dd went under 3 times!!!!!!! Luckily dh was within arms reach of her and just scooped her back up.
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#4 of 59 Old 06-13-2006, 08:14 PM
 
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Thank you for this again and the reminder.
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#5 of 59 Old 06-13-2006, 08:22 PM
 
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thanks for the reminder. two of my children have nearly drowned. both times I was standing a few feet from them. both times there was a life gaurd a few feet from them. even after I had drug them out of the water both times the life gaurd didn't notice we were having a crisis (and it took my second one a while to get breathing again. we were about to start CPR when she started sputtering.)

I never ever trust a life gaurd. and supervision means hands on your non swimmers and close proximity to your capable swimmers.

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#6 of 59 Old 06-13-2006, 08:24 PM
 
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THANKS FOR THE REMINDER!

Our community pool has a rule that all non-swimming children (defined as not passing the swim test) must be within arms length of their adult supervisor. Last year, the life guards asked the pool board how well they could enforce that (i.e. were they allowed to kick a small child out because there was obviously no adult around). No good answer was given but there was hours of debate on the topic.

I had a dog drown in a river. My kids are stuck to me like glue in the pool.

You know the attributes for a great adult? Initiative, creativity, intellectual curiosity? They make for a helluva kid...
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#7 of 59 Old 06-14-2006, 12:01 AM
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Thanks for the reminder. My dh and I were in a public shallow wading pool with our 3 year old recently. Another little boy, about 1, went under, face down. Dh had been keeping an eye on him while I played with dd because dh knew his mother was not. Dh wrenched his shoulder reaching behind and over to get this kid up to breathe air. His mother was chatting with another woman, too far away to have done anything herself. He was 1!

And, this is especially true at the beach, be it an ocean, lake, river, or stream beach. Water can move faster than anyone realizes and children can easily be caught up in the "sneaker" waves. Every year, I hear on the news about children and adults being washed away by sneaker waves or by currents that they thought they could handle. I grew up in an ocean beach community and rip tides are another huge problem. At age 8, I almost got taken by one and had to be rescued by a life guard. After that, my mother made sure my brother and I knew exactly what to do when caught in a rip tide (swim horizontally until you are out of it).

Water is very dangerous and should be treated with respect, no matter where it is. Don't forget that more people die in the bath than any other room in the house.
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#8 of 59 Old 06-14-2006, 01:05 AM
 
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Thanks for the reminder. I remembered your post from last year and have quoted it to so many parents, and all of them have been shocked and have taken it very seriously.
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#9 of 59 Old 06-14-2006, 01:08 AM
 
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THANK YOU for this timely reminder! DD (nearly 4 at the time) had a time of it last summer when I was holding her baby sister and turned away from her for about 10 seconds in the 3' section, I moved about two feet away to grab the floatie she and the baby sat in sometimes. She was wearing an actual life vest that is supposed to keep their heads above water, but when I turned back to her she was face down and flailing - literally right in front of the lifeguard. I was right there and she was not in any real danger right then, since as I said I was very close, within arm's reach, but it was a very big WAKEUP CALL to me as to how quickly, easily, and in the presence of life guards and other adults it can happen to any child.
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#10 of 59 Old 06-14-2006, 03:03 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial
I live in Arizona. I think we have the highest drowning rate in the US. I watched a child go under. He was four years old. (my day care child) He jumped in, forgetting he was not wearing floaties.

I watched him for a few moments before going in after him. He did NOTHING! He didn't try to stand up (It was shallow water) He didn't flail, he didn't reach for the wall. NOTHING! I was shocked. And kinda mad.

Most people assume you will HEAR a child drown, but they don't make a sound. They just sit on the bottom and wait for an adult to get them.
I want to reiterate this post. I had an image of a child flailing, hearing splashing water, lots of commotion. But that is not how it happens.

Last summer dh was in the pool with ds1, in the shallow end. I was sitting on a lounge chair maybe 5 feet away, and my MIL was sitting next to me. Ds1 wanted to stand on the steps of the pool, so dh set him there and was swimming around a few feet away. I glanced down to help ds2 latch on, MIL turned to me to ask a question, dh happened to duck underneath the water, and at that moment, ds1 slipped off of the bottom stair and went under the water. No one saw it happen, even though 3 adults were within 5 feet of him. He never made a sound. The first thing I heard was my MIL yelling for dh, and it took me a second to realize that ds1 was completely underwater, totally still and silent. It seemed like lightyears before dh reached him and pulled him up. You literally cannot look away when a child is in the water.
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#11 of 59 Old 06-14-2006, 03:08 AM
 
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Thank you for posting this. I nearly drowned when I was 6 and there were tons of adults nearby. We were at a pool party and someone pushed me in, not knowing that I couldn't swim. It was HORRIBLE - I still remember the fear. Finally someone dragged me out. The worst was that my parents were embarrassed that I was blubbering and crying and told me to get over it, basically.
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#12 of 59 Old 06-14-2006, 08:14 AM
 
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When my children began to swim I watched them every minute they were in the pool.

That was "lax" compared to what I did before they could swim: I watched them every second.

Even now I watch fairly closely. One of my friends said it best "I know that when Molly is eighteen I won't be watching her when she is in the pool.....BUT I don't actually believe it."
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#13 of 59 Old 06-14-2006, 10:31 AM
 
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Thanks for the reminder!
My friend's 3 year old fell in a pool while we were all sitting around chatting, right there. He was playing quietly in the yard and around the pool area with his trucks. I voiced concern about him falling in. The mom wasn't concerned that the boy would fall in, because he "was afraid of the pool and hated the water". So much for that.
If someone hadn't been coming out of the house at that moment, and saw him fall in, it probably would have been too late by the time we discovererd him. There were other kids in the pool that we were watching too, we were paying attention to them, and not the child outside the pool. It only takes a minute. I'll never forget that.

A local police chief said (after a child had drowned in a private swimimng pool last summer) "if everyone treated the backyard pool like a firepit or a bonfire, there wouldn't be so many drownings"
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#14 of 59 Old 06-14-2006, 10:43 AM
 
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Thanks for the reminder.
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#15 of 59 Old 06-14-2006, 12:32 PM
 
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Your reminder is timely and so true.

Along with having a lifeguard on duty at all times, I think it is the responsibility of the parents who take their kids to these water spots (pools, lakes, etc.) to be diligent as well. If you have a pool membership, or if you vacation on a lake in the summer, spend some time in the winter getting your kids swimming lessons so that they respect the dangers of water, but are comfortable in getting themselves to the surface of the water. For little children, use the swimming lessons to get them in the habit of going nowhere NEAR the water without floaties or water wings on. Please know that I am not suggesting that a child should know how to save themselves... not at all... this is the parents' resposibility. However, if you as a parent are going to bring your children to water spots, you should not wait until that first day at the beach or at the town pool to explain the importance of water wings or safety. Kids see the pool and get so excited that your words are likely lost on them.

I am an owner of a built in 8-foot swimming pool in my back yard. My kids didn't even see our pool until they had had 2 sessions of swimming lessons just for this reason. And now, while my kids do not fear the water itself, they are very cognizant of the dangers that do exist from pushing another in or rough-play in the pool or swimming when they are exhausted. They are great swimmers now, but when they were just learning, they learned to not only stay close by me, but they learned to wear their water wings at all times in side the pool gate and how to get to the surface for air if they happened to go under.

My point is that if you are going to bring kids to water spots, do not wait until that day to explain these things to them. Kids will always want to go to a friends house to swim or go to the beach for the day... you can never start too early with teaching them safety techniques and rules of the pool/beach.
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#16 of 59 Old 06-14-2006, 01:15 PM
 
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I'll be up at the kiddy pool a lot this summer but I always tell moms while I talk to them that it only takes 120 seconds for a child to drown. So if I seem like I'm not listening it's because I'm watching my the kids.

The majority of children who survive are discovered within two minutes following submersion. (see http://128.252.252.15/all-net/englis...tect/drown.htm)

Thank you for bringing this up. It's scarey how little time it takes to drown.

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#17 of 59 Old 06-14-2006, 07:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial
Most people assume you will HEAR a child drown, but they don't make a sound. They just sit on the bottom and wait for an adult to get them.

That’s what I did! I was 4 and fell in our family pool. I sunk to the bottom like a rock and just sat there. I remember my eyes being open and My sister diving in to get me. It was all so quick that I didn’t have time to panic till I was out of the pool.
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#18 of 59 Old 06-15-2006, 05:38 PM
 
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I had to "save" one child in my 6 years of lifeguarding - and pp's are right. There was no sound! No splashing! A toddler just stepped off the deck into the pool and was suspended under water in the deep end until I dove in and got him.

There were a lot of people in the pool, and a lot of noise, and only one guard (me) on duty. I actually noticed the other lifegaurd looking around in a concerned way, and only then started to scan around to see what she might be seeing. She had noticed the toddler walking around the deck, and then realized he wasn't there any more. I finally saw a child deep in the deep end, just still. Thankfully, he was fine and didn't need CPR or anything. He had been sent to the pool with his teenage sister. Later, little neighborhood boys (pool regulars) told me that they were yelling at me that the baby had fallen in the pool. However, I was used to all the noise, especially their noise, and didn't even hear it!

After that, I took my job a lot more seriously, but was constantly frustrated by other guards who were more serious about their tan lines and sunglasses.

I don't think I'll trust my kids at the pool with anyone other than me or my dh until they are excellent swimmers. Thanks for the reminder to be extremely careful!
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#19 of 59 Old 06-15-2006, 06:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maya44
One of my friends said it best "I know that when Molly is eighteen I won't be watching her when she is in the pool.....BUT I don't actually believe it."
This rings so true for me. We had a conflict between something DH and I were to do alone an a pool party a friend of my mother's was having. My mother offered to take the kids to the party and watch them. I just could not bear the thought of someone else being in charge of my child's safety around a pool, especially at a party with lots of folks/distractions around.

Mightymoo - Mom to DD (6) and DS (4)
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#20 of 59 Old 06-15-2006, 06:55 PM
 
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Thanks so much for this. You forget how quick this can happen.

As a kid I remember a family friend who's 12 mo old drowned in a bucket of water in the backyard. He went in head 1st & couldn't get out . The basket barely had any water in it., but it was still enought that he drowned.

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#21 of 59 Old 06-16-2006, 02:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial
Most people assume you will HEAR a child drown, but they don't make a sound. They just sit on the bottom and wait for an adult to get them.
I almost drowned when I was about 3.5 on Cape Cod. My mom and her friend were sitting on the dock with their legs dangling in the water. I was right in front of them in the water with one of those little kiddie inner tubes around me. I slipped right through it and down I went. I didn't panic or try to get back to the surface. In fact, I remember looking at the way the sun filtered through the water and thinking how pretty it was and that the water looked prettier from underneath than it did from the top. I was just in wonder and awe at how beautiful it all was--I didn't even realize it was unsafe. Soon I felt a hand on my head--pulling me up out of the water by my hair. I was mad because it hurt AND I wanted to stay underwater where it was prettier. It is definitely true that children DON'T understand that water is dangerous. I knew I was below the surface but I didn't see a problem with it. It is a very calm and peaceful memory that I have from that day. When I tried to breathe and water came in my nose and mouth it surprised me but didn't scare me. Scary now, knowing that it was a life threatening situation and I didn't even realize it.
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#22 of 59 Old 06-16-2006, 07:45 PM
 
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thanks so much for posting this!

my kids are 10, 7, and 4. i'm due any day now
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#23 of 59 Old 06-16-2006, 07:50 PM
 
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It happens so quickly, so silently. Thanks for posting this.
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#24 of 59 Old 06-16-2006, 08:40 PM
 
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There is a newspaper editor I know who is deaf who served as a lifegaurd for years as a teen.

Although some people were concerned that he could not do the job cuz he couldn't hear, he actually was able to do the job, as or even more effectively than most because DROWNING PEOPLE often don't make a sound.

Since this guy was used to relying on visual cues in life he was a really good lifeguard.
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#25 of 59 Old 06-17-2006, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow that is a cool story maya.

Now who was it who was talking about going under and how everything was pretty? That story triggered a bit of total recall for me. I was in Indiana visiting family when we went to a local pool. One of my parents was sitting on an edge with feet in the water, talking to another parent in the water. I was standing next to the parent sitting, gazing dreamliy into the pool.

It looked to cool. The shimmer, the ice blue water lapping at the sides of the pool. I could see the bottom so I thought I could stand. Without warning I jumped right in and sunk to the bottom. It was less than a second than one parent reached in and pulled me up by my hair. I was angry about it, but thinking about it now what nutty-kid-like thing to do. They must have been both mad and scared!
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#26 of 59 Old 06-17-2006, 07:14 PM
 
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This is all very interesting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maya44
There is a newspaper editor I know who is deaf who served as a lifegaurd for years as a teen.

Although some people were concerned that he could not do the job cuz he couldn't hear, he actually was able to do the job, as or even more effectively than most because DROWNING PEOPLE often don't make a sound.

Since this guy was used to relying on visual cues in life he was a really good lifeguard.
That makes SO much sense. Kids at pools make SO much noise (just as the kids in my old apartment complex, playing behind cars, giving attitude towards drivers, waiting until the last moment to break up their ball games as cars go by at 1 mph). I don't know how people can find it possible to not filter out all that noise, and I don't know how people can hear TRUE panic over all the PRETEND screams and nonsense. My mom had a simple rule. She was NOT going to allow us to randomly scream; if we did, she'd rush outside, in an absolute panic. If there was nothing obviously wrong, she'd persist in asking where the tiger was and how badly we'd been mauled. No screaming unless there was TRULY something bad happening.

Anyway, I would think a deaf person would definitely do a better job in a job like that, b/c they would never try to rely on hearing trouble start.
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#27 of 59 Old 06-18-2006, 12:17 AM
 
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I know living in Florida for most of my adult life, one hears about a child drowning pretty much every week during the summertime. Because of this, there are a lot of infant swimming programs which are designed to teach a child to roll on his back or get to the side of the pool. infantswim.com is a program that has paired with the local YMCAs.

Right now, you'll see those inflatable pools on sale at Toys-R-Us and the like... both the kiddie kind and the larger ones, that are 10' or 12'. I think some people let their guard down around them because they're not "real" pools. Well, they're real enough to drown in.

Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

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#28 of 59 Old 06-23-2006, 12:31 PM
 
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Thanks for posting this. I have been debating about If I should let dd (8yrs) swim in a 4ft. pool with her friends at our community garden while I, and probably all the other parents too, garden.
I now will not let her swim unless I am right there watching.
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#29 of 59 Old 06-23-2006, 06:28 PM
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I just have to say that the grammar of this title is DRIVING ME CRAZY.

"Most children drown while supervised" makes it sound like a majority of children have drowned, or that a majority of supervised children have drowned. MOST children have NOT drowned. The majority of children are still with us today, thank the good lord.

Apparently you mean that, "Most children who drown do so while under supervision."

And thank you for the PSA. It really is important.

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#30 of 59 Old 06-23-2006, 06:37 PM
 
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Thank you again for the reminder.

Everytime this thread comes around I mention these 2 stories.

My cousin drowned in the toilet when he was 2. And my own dd went into the pool and could have drowned, with dh and I standing right there. She was face down and didn't make one sound.

She was 2, I was holding her baby sister and dh and I were standing next to the pool talking for a minute before we took the kids in. 2 year old was next to me and then suddenly I realized she wasn't standing next to me anymore and I looked around and saw her floating face down in the pool. Dh jumped in with all his clothing and shoes on and grabbed her out, she was fine. I will never forget that day. She was so quiet, an extra minute or two and she would have been gone. All these adults around and it still happened.
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