Turning the tides on child drowning
Rebecca Wear Robinson
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Who Is Watching Your Kids?

by Rebecca Wear Robinson on October 15, 2009

Thanks to Rochelle M. for another good story this week.  Rochelle lives in a wonderful complex close to the ocean, complete with pool, BBQ area, outside fitness section – a paradise for kids and grownups.  She was passing by the pool last week and noticed 2 kids playing in the pool.  Not toddlers, old enough to be swimming, so maybe 5-8 years old, but not tall enough to stand in the deep-end.  Their babysitter was sunning herself by the side of the pool – listening to her iPod.  I know how my 8-year old doesn’t know his own strength.  After about the 9 millionth time I issued the warning not to grab someone in the pool or jump close to them the warning started to sink in.  Of course that is unless he’s playing and momentarily forgets, or he’s with older kids and desperate to keep up, or his younger sister is driving him nuts, or….or….or…..  I’ve been working on drowning prevention for a couple of years so I’m on the slightly neurotic end of the scale when it comes to watching my kids in the pool, but I get nervous when I see the responsible adult is plugged in or tuned out.  Drowning is quiet and if a kid has been teasing or playing too rough they might be afraid of being yelled at or punished and not raise the alarm right away.  Kids don’t recognize the dangers of drowning – they need constant supervision.  Hard for the caregiver, I know.  What I wouldn’t give some afternoons to just hang by the pool with my book, have a good gab with a friend, or just close my eyes for a few blissful moments, but then I realize those days are still in the future or unless someone I trust is watching my kids for me, really watching.

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