By: Ginny Harrison, Swimming for Life.
“He was here; he was right here! I was watching him, I was listening, I could see him!” This mother spoke the truth. She was right next to her son; she was watching him out of the corner of her eye and she was listening for signs of splashing but she heard nothing at all. She was engaged in conversation with a friend and for a split second, this sweet mother lost contact with her precious child. When she thought about tending to him, it was too late. Her two-year-old baby boy slipped off the step and silently suffocated under the water. When she reached down to grab him his color was blue and he was unresponsive.
Unfortunately, this accident happens one too many times. Florida loses more children under age five to drowning than any other state. Annually in Florida, enough children to fill three to four preschool classrooms drown and do not live to see their fifth birthday. (Florida Department of Health)
Drowning is quick and silent; there is no warning. Designate a Water Watcher every time you take children swimming. A Water Watcher is never on the phone or engaged in conversation. Please don’t trust a child’s life with another child. Constant adult supervision is the only way we can prevent drowning.
Make sure your children can swim. Enroll in swimming lessons and know your child’s swimming ability. Make it a rule in your family that adult permission must be given before your child is allowed to swim.
Do your part, be water smart!
Ginny Harrison and her husband Jim run Swimming for Life, a division of Straight Forward Ministries in Lake County, Florida. More information on Swimming for Life can be found on their Facebook page or website.