Water safety….it’s so important. It is unbelievable how quickly and easily these types of accidents can happen, and I can’t even begin to imagine what these parents are going through in dealing with the loss of their son.
We had a similar experience a few years back when my second oldest daughter was about 21 months old. We were visiting my parents at their home in Florida. We had been very careful all week and respectful of the dangers of the pool. We thought we had taken all of the necessary precautions; set ground rules, locked the doors, talked to both girls about the dangers of the pool, but the fact is that accidents happen no matter how careful you think you are being.
We had just finished eating our lunch and my Mom and I were inside cleaning up and getting ready to go on an afternoon shopping excursion. The girls were playing on the lanai area, but were told to stay well away from the pool as they were fully dressed and ready to leave. Grandpa was supervising; he turned around and poked his head in through the patio door to ask us when we were going to be ready and that’s when it happened. He had literally turned his back for 10 seconds, and my daughter fell into the pool. None of us actually saw her fall, we didn’t even hear a splash. In fact, if it hadn’t of been for my older daughter, who was four years old at the time, the worst could have happened. My older daughter started screaming loudly, “Mom, Brooke fell into the pool.” My heart sank. I dropped the dish I was holding and I ran, faster than I ever knew I possibly could, across the house, onto the patio, and leapt from the edge of the lanai deck into the middle of the pool where Brooke was floating face down.
I grabbed her in one swoop and held her up over my head. As her face came out of the water she gasped for air. I got her safely to the side of the pool, and I just held her and cried. It was one of the scariest moments of my life. How quickly it happened. How close we came. How lucky we were. How thankful I was. We didn’t end up going on our shopping excursion that afternoon, my nerves were too shot. Now when we go to visit my parents in Florida, we make sure to put up the safety fence that goes around the pool. We make sure the two little ones have their life jackets on before the gate gets opened, and the two older ones are only allowed to be swimming when an adult is present on the lanai.