Can a Pamphlet Save a Life???
Updated: Jun 6, 2019
“Do you really think a pamphlet will save lives?” A friend asked this question to me a few weeks ago. I don’t think she was trying to be cruel, but I tried to answer the best I could without it breaking my heart a little bit.
This morning, my son Asher had his 18 months well check with his pediatrician. This is the same pediatrician that cared for my son Jackson. When Jackson went in for his 18 months well check, it was the last time he saw his pediatrician because just four days later he drowned. I’ve been dreading this appointment, in fear that the same story or timeline may play out for Asher. Honestly, I am counting down the days until Asher is 19 months old, thinking to myself that somehow, he will be safer at that age. Now, I know there isn’t any validity in that statement. Come to find out, this is another of the many milestones I didn’t know existed, until I lost a child.
I went in to his appointment nervous, wanting it to be over, but curious to see how Asher’s size measured up to his big brother. I mentioned to the pediatrician that Asher is over an inch taller and over a pound lighter than his brother was at this age. This got us on the topic of Jackson. He remembered him as a stout little boy and he smiled. He then said, “There is something that I want to share with you.”
This summer, before PPCD was even a thought, I made an educational drowning prevention pamphlet for the hospital I work at. I dispersed these pamphlets to pediatricians, family practice doctors, obstetrics, and the local low income/uninsured health clinic that serve our hospital/community. This included my own pediatrician. His group openly and willingly set out the pamphlets for people to see and take as they please. I see them out every time I visit.
As the pediatrician told me this story, we both had tears welled up in our eyes. I could see that he was proud because he, too, was instrumental in saving this boy’s life from drowning. He thanked me for the pamphlets and for sharing this information. ers to protect their son. Her husband read over the pamphlet and he decided to get a pool cover to help protect their son, but also keep the leaves out of the pool. Shortly after the cover was placed, the boy’s father was watching the child. He lost sight of him, as parents do, and panicked while looking for him around the house. Then something caught his eye to the outside. His son had made it to the pool and was crawling on top of the pool cover. The new pool cover that saved his life. That child found his way outside and could have headed straight for the pool. The pool where he remembers so many fun memories swimming with mom and dad, but instead he was safe.
As the pediatician told me this story, we both had tears welled up in our eyes. I could see that he was proud because he, too, was instrumental in saving this boy’s life from drowning. He thanked me for the pamphlets and for sharing this information.
Drowning can happen to anyone, it does not discriminate. Spreading awareness and education are key. Pediatricians are a constant person in our child’s life. We trust them to give us the best information and to keep our children safe. Getting all pediatricians on board to spread this education is an important factor to prevent drownings. Yes, a pamphlet can save a life.
Our pamphlets are available to print or download here. Please, take them to your pediatrician and encourage them to display them and hand them out as appropriate. You, too, could save a life.