I’m breaking away from my usual blog and fitness format because this is an important story that needs to be told:
I love having a backyard pool – just like I love my Rottweiler, but of course both are dangerous. My dog LOOKS more dangerous than my pool, but truthfully, I know my pool is a far bigger cause for concern. Afterall, it’s already claimed the life of a poor unsuspecting bird.
Unfortunately, on Sunday I had to put my lifeguarding skills to the test again – thankfully more successfully than when I tried to save the bird My neighbour’s niece (appx. 10yrs old) was visiting her, and I invited both of my neighbours kids (ages 8 & 9) over to swim, and her niece too. My neighbours SIL told her that the girl could swim. I’m not sure if there was a communication error between them ie: allowed to swim vs. is a competent swimmer. It doesn’t really matter.
So the kids all came over, and my hubby went into his speel about the buoy line, here’s where the pool gets deep, and to stay in the shallow end if you’re uncertain about the deep end. I love him to bits for doing this each and every time someone comes over ‘cause it means he totally gets how dangerous pools can be.
Anyways, the girl said she could swim, and wanted to go in the pool off of the diving board. My pool is 9ft deep and kids LOVE the board! So she jumps off, but turns to the side in mid-air to try and grab the edge of the pool.
She missed the side of the pool and can’t swim.
She had seemed somewhat hesitant to get in (all of the other kids were already in by this time) so I was watching her like a hawk. She came up slowly and her arms weren’t moving in a breast stroke kind of way like you would do to get to the top of the water – instead she was moving them in a front crawl kind of way (like she was climbing a ladder), indicating to me before she even reached the surface that she was a non-swimmer. She got to the surface and I was already sitting at the edge with my leg extended for her to reach it. (I can’t lie on my belly with a reaching assist because I’m 6 mos preggo). We shouted at her to grab it, but she didn’t hear us and went under 2 more times. I got up as fast as a very pregnant lady can, and did a stride jump into the pool next to her (while wearing all of my clothes). I got behind her, and pushed her hard to the edge, where she was able to grab hold. Because I can’t even pull myself out of the pool at the edge anymore (darn swollen pregnant belly), I asked her if she could slide along the edge to the shallow end. Thankfully she could. I then slid along behind her to make sure she got there ok. After that she played happily in the shallow end.
This could have been yet another summer tragedy – but I was paying attention. I can’t wait to register my kids for the next session of swimming lessons – I never want them to be in a situation like this little girl was in.
Please folks, teach your kids to swim, enroll them in swimming lessons and be diligent about taking them – you never know when they may need to have this important life skill.