Don’t Let Your Story To End Badly
There is an unspoken invitation from water to children, come play with me! Dance around me! Spray me, toss me, jump in, go under, spit me out! And so on and so on… But there is fear for parents because we know the reality and danger of water…
The sounds of splashing and laughter… The giddy screams of delight. Children are fascinated by water… puddles, streams, rivers, bathtubs, kitchen sinks, yard sprinklers, the ocean and yes of course swimming pools. There is an unspoken invitation from water to children … Come play with me!.. Dance around me! Spray me, toss me, jump in, go under! And so on and so on… But there is fear for parents because we know the reality and danger of water.
Children lose their breaths quickly. They get caught up in the moment and forget to think. Fear is encapsulating for little ones and they do not have the skills to react. Each calendar year that passes, children die from water related activities. These were accidental deaths with devastating realities for the victims’ families.
Wonderful children like Brayden, Virginia and Connor. They were supposed to be merely playing in the water and no one thought their lives would be in danger. Now the parents and supporters of these children set up websites and organizations to educate others about pool safety and to lobby for new laws. It is not easy.
We cannot live our lives in fear, but we must remain protective and assess all situations that could possibly present danger to children. Water is fun and kids will never stop loving to play in it and with it. As parents and thoughtful onlookers, we must be the safety patrollers for our little water lovers. Never leave a child alone near water, any kind of water. Never allow the child to go beyond your reach in a pool, lake or ocean. Teach children to have a working knowledge of water, turning the hose on and off, not filling up the bathtub too high, allow them to control some of the process with your guidance. Respect the unknown factor. Water is not your friend. It has possibilities that we cannot imagine. A child’s curiosity will lead them to investigate what they do not know and want to learn. Water is a powerful teaching tool, but one that must be taught so that we do not lose more lives to water related activities.
Always remember to check any body of water that the child might enter. Pools should be checked for trained lifeguards on duty, ill-equipped lighting, drain issues, and the right pool barrier. Oceans should be checked for proper lifeguard staffing, under toes, activity of dangerous sea-life. Lakes should be checked for dangerous aquatic life, underwater branches that a child could be caught on, harmful bacteria. If possible and age-appropriate, children should wear life-vests to ensure safety, especially in unknown water territories. For your residential pool you must install a pool fence and possibly a pool alarm.
Armed with knowledge, we can allow our children to be carefree and safe at the same time. We do not want to instill too much fear, but we want them to be cautiously aware. Water is a natural resource, a wonderful source of entertainment and relaxation outlet. It can also be deadly. Take comfort in protecting your children. Jump in puddles, dive off the diving board, spray oodles with the sprinkler, bath-time is fun time. Be safe.