On Monday I Saved A Life

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.

Diving Board
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.

5 thoughts on “On Monday I Saved A Life

  1. oh my how scary!
    By the way .. I have been such a bad blogger friend.

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!! So excited for you and your family!!!!

  2. Holy crappola batman! I’m so glad you were able to get to her fast enough! Maybe in the future it might not be a bad idea to test kids to see if they really can swim.

  3. Good for you for making sure the kids were supervised at all times.

    And you’re exactly right: *everyone* needs to learn how to swim. Adults need to learn it if they don’t already know, and every parent needs to make sure their kids know how to swim. You don’t have to be Michael Phelps; even if all you can do is tread water for a few minutes, that’s the difference between life and death in almost all cases.

  4. Wow, pretty impressed with your quick thinking! I agree that this is an important message. My kids are in swimming lessons right now for this very reason! Even just having them understand why it’s important to be careful around the water would be a step in the right direction. Thanks for the reminder as to why water safety is important!

  5. Very scary indeed. I’m glad you were there to help her, that could have been very bad.
    It breaks my heart every time I hear of another drowning. There was another one fairly recently that wasn’t far from us, no one was watching the 2 or 3 year old at some family gathering and she got into the pool. My brother was telling me just yesterday about a whole family that drowned recently because none could swim and apparently they kept jumping in to try and save one another. I have to search for that, I don’t doubt it’s true, but I haven’t seen any proof yet. But we went to the Mississippi River the other day and I had to tell E that even though he THINKS he can swim, and even if he COULD, stay away from the river, you go in and you’ll be gone in a matter of seconds. It’s all very scary, we have to remember to respect the water and learn what is right and wrong to do. As soon as I can afford it, I want to get E swimming lessons.

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