Drowning Prevention Week

Have you been encouraging water safety on drowning prevention week? I was at Last Mountain Lake for a little while this past weekend and the water was a great way to cool off. We also had a chance to get to Massey Pool which is an outdoor pool in South Regina. Since the water is so refreshing we can easily forget how dangerous it can be if we aren’t taking the necessary precautions.

I recall taking our kids to Massey pool when they were very young. Kylie was still a toddler and Noah was 4 years old. It was a crazy hot day and the pool was an awesome place to seek some refuge from the heat. As the lifesaving society suggests we were within arms lengths of our kids, but still nearly had a tragic outcome.

Nathalie and I were playing with Kylie and splashing in the water while Noah was just behind me playing in the pool. Kylie was giggling away and we seemed to shift all of our attention to how much fun she was having in the pool. We were playing catch back and forth with Kylie who was enjoying every second of the attention. I recall hearing Noah say “Dad” a couple times while we were having our fun, but the third time it was faint and cut-off and I only heard “Da”. Hearing the urgency in his voice I wheeled around to see a look of panic as Noah went underneath the water. His hands were flailing and fear was consuming his thoughts and actions. As I rushed through the water to rescue my son I was gripped by the same fear. I painfully realized this wasn’t the first time he had gone under the water. I picked him up in my arms as he spit out the water he had just swallowed and he took a huge gasp of air.

I took him to the side of the pool as he began to cry. He expressed his frustration, “I was calling and calling for you, but you were just playing with Kylie.” He continued to tell me he went under the water three times before I even looked at him and couldn’t believe I was so close, but wouldn’t help him. Needless to say we both felt very bad, but were sobered by the thought of how quickly things transpired.

How could tragedy dwell so close to delight? We started within an arms-length of our son, but he went slightly deeper and suddenly had no footing in the pool. As parents, only a couple moments lacking awareness nearly had a disastrous outcome. Take time to enjoy the water this summer, but always remember the danger that lurks so close by.

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