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  • Heather Murray

Parents Preventing Childhood Drowning Presents: Sunday Survival Stories: Pool Toys

Every Sunday, we will share a story of a non-fatal drowning, discuss where things went wrong, and give some pointers on how to prevent it from happening to the people you love. Thankfully, these stories have happy endings for those involved, but sadly, we lose too many people to drowning every year. We hope examining these real-life stories help put the dangers of water into perspective and help you introduce various principles of water safety to your family!

Today we are sharing 3 year old JD’s survival story. JD was found and pulled out of his family pool by 8 year old big brother Gerald, and given CPR by his firefighter dad. JD’s parents provide their own 3 tips for how to prevent a drowning in your own home pool.

Today we’d really like to concentrate on the use of pool toys at home. JD’s parents bring up two very good points about pool toys- they obstruct the vision of the water watcher and they should be removed when swim time is over.

Everyone loves a pool toy, whether a float for mom and dad to relax on or a floating game for the kids to test their skill level. However, when are there too many toys in the pool? JD’s parents bring up a very understated red flag here when they observe that the floaties blocked their line of vision and prevented them from being able to see everything beneath the water’s surface. Any unused pool toys should be removed, and water guardians should be especially aware of the obstacles these toys present when they are on duty. Swimmers should be instructed to not play or swim under these toys.

Once swim time is finished, pool toys are finished. Toys, floating above or sunk to the bottom, should be completely removed from the water and stored out of sight. If not, they provide temptation to a child who just wants to play with the toy and doesn’t connect the danger of the water. This is especially true for swimmers who can not swim on their own yet.

We are so thankful for JD’s rescue and recovery, and for the great points his parents have provided in order to prevent this from happening to anyone else!

When using pool toys, limit the number, warn the water guardian of the visual hindrance, and remove all toys from the water when swim time is done. Have fun, be safe, and be smart with pool toys!

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