- Heather Murray
Parents Preventing Childhood Drownings presents Sunday Survival Stories: Water First
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!
On March 8th, 2020, 19 month old Isaac Oates was taken to a family member’s house for a birthday party when the unthinkable happened- he drown. Over a year later, his family is still working hard to get him the treatments he needs to fully recover from the non-fatal drowning.
Children are naturally attracted to water, and often in group settings adults relax their supervision due to feeling safer with the larger number of adults nearby. Everyone believes someone else is watching the child, and the possibility opens that in reality, no one is actually fully watching. These two features in combination lead to many drownings every year. If your child is ever missing, always check the water first. A big difference between fatal and non-fatal drownings is how quickly a victim is discovered and CPR can be started. Drownings, even non-fatal ones, can make huge impacts on quality of life for the victim and their families. Even outside of swim times, layers of protection need to be in place to prevent drownings. Barriers should be present around the pool. Temptations like toys should be removed from the water and vicinity. Unaccompanied child access to outside should be prevented (like doggie doors). Drownings can occur in less than a minute. If your child is missing, check the water first.
Fatal versus non-fatal drownings often depend on how quickly a victim can be removed from the water and CPR can be started. Have fun, be safe, and remember to check the water first!