Is one of your children drowning your worst nightmare? We asked our dear friend Reagan to share her story of every mothers worst nightmare.
I have been asked to share an experience with you. This was an event where we had lessons learned and I hope it might somehow prevent another near drowning.
Last August, I went to a neighbors private pool with two friends and our kids. I have four children, my oldest was 7, a 5 year old, a 2 year old Berlynn, and my one year old, Copelyn.
Berlynn had been wearing her life jacket the whole time. But would have to take it off to use the bathroom, which was located right near the pool area. After the third time she told me she could do it herself, I let her go by herself and went back to the chairs assuming she would come back to me for her flotation device as she had every other time.
My back was toward the pools and hot tubs, so as I was buttoning up Copelyn’s onesie so her face would be shaded. Then continued to chat putting Berlynn out of my thoughts, 100% knowing she would come to me.
We aren’t sure of the time lapse, but my friend, Megan who was facing the pool let out a blood curdling gasp and as I was leaping from my chair into the pool I knew it was her. She was floating just under the surface in her coral and white swimsuit looking just like the other pool toys. Once I was completely immersed, I was below her body. With all of my strength (and definitely help from angels) I hoisted her into the arms of Megan who was already next to the edge of the pool.
Once I was out of the pool I laid her lifeless body on the cement. Berlynn’s lips were blue, her skin was pale, her eyes were glazed over and she was not breathing. I screamed “she’s not breathing!!! What do I do!?!” Tabitha, my other friend, was thankfully in a sound enough state of mind to be on the phone with 911. Without thinking, (now seeing I was inspired) I searched deep into my most basic instincts and started CPR. I tilted back her head which opened her airway and by the good grace of our Heavenly Father she coughed. I then sat her upright and firmly patted her back. She began taking in short breaths and eventually vomited. Three times. The ambulance came and checked her out and she ended up with a full swift recovery. She is 100%, thankfully.
The days following, my mind was numb of guilt relentless visions and nights of reoccurring nightmares. With this came more love and support I have ever experienced from God and his angles on earth and beyond. You don’t know me, but I pride myself in knowing my kids and anticipating their every move. I am protective almost to a fault. When all of this happened, I realized more than ever how quickly scary things like this can happen. I have definitely upped my radar around water. And another result has been my magnified empathy for those parents labeled as “careless” or “irresponsible” after having terrible tragedies befall them. We are all good. We all love our kids. Things happen. It has been 9 months and I am still having to forgive myself daily. I can honestly say I don’t know where I would be after this if it weren’t for all of my friends and of course my own mother’s love and support. They are constantly giving me reassurance that I am still worthy to be a mother, Berlynn’s mother after feeling like I had failed her.
We as mothers need each others love and support all the time, but especially during times like these.
xoxo Reagan, a wonderful friend of ours
- From 2005-2014, there were an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States — about ten deaths per day.1 An additional 332 people died each year from drowning in boating-related incidents.
- About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger. For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.
- About one third of children who drown do so in and around the home.
- Drowning is a quick and silent killer. In the time it takes to:
- Get a towel (10 seconds), a child can become submerged
- Answer the phone (2 minutes), a child can lose consciousness
- Answer the front door (4-6 minutes), a submerged child can sustain permanent brain damage or die
Prevent Drowning: ABC & D’s
A= Adult Supervision
- Designate an adult who can swim to actively supervise children around water.
- Teach all children to get out of the water if a supervising adult leaves the pool area.
- Hire a certified lifeguard for pool parties, beach barbecues or social gatherings around water.
- Maintain visual contact. Remain close to your child when in a pool, spa or bathtub.
B=Barrier (for your pool)
- Installation and proper use of barriers or “layers of protection” is crucial. Many victims were last seen safe inside the home.
C=Classes (swim classes, CPR)
The responsibility of pool and spa ownership is to ensure family members learn to swim and know CPR.
D=Devices (PFD’s, life jackets and rescue tools)
- Create Pool Safety. Be prepared and practice lifesaving procedures prior to an emergency situation.
Go to http://www.gethealthyclarkcounty.org/be-safe/drowning-prevention-abcd.php for more prevention tips for drowning.
I hope we all have a safe and happy summer!