This has been a nightmarish weekend for several parents. It is only March, and school is still in session. Yet several local children had drowning accidents this weekend.
On Saturday afternoon, 12-year-old Thy Nguyen drowned in a lagoon near his house. While this was not a small child, he was autistic and mute. A dive and rescue team found him after tips from neighbors indicated he was in the area.
On Sunday night at a private pool party of about 30 children, three-year-old Devin Moor drowned. The ironic part is that he drowned as his sister was being resuscitated after a near drowning. Unfortunately, the lifeguard (one of three in attendance, and one of two on active duty) only spotted on of the children in trouble. The safety of the Gwinnett County pool is being brought to question. The leisure pool with waterslide used mostly by children is said to have water jets that create a current that is difficult for even an adult to stand in. Parents also worry that the waterslide and play set interferes with clear views across the pool. This was surely a tragedy.
On Monday Morning, Two toddlers drowned in their grandmother’s swimming pool in Pickens County. After arriving from North Carolina, and after the family fell asleep, it seems that the toddlers got up and wandered out to the covered, above ground pool. They were found tangled in the disheveled pool cover.
Reporting such tragic events is not a light matter by any stretch of the imagination. I cannot imagine the grief and anguish the parents of these children must feel. I would also never be so presumptuous as to blame parents for the loss of their child. Hindsight is 20-20, and the parents would surely do anything in their power to change the outcomes if possible. However, should parents react by holding on tighter to their children who cannot fend for themselves, especially around water, this summer may be less tragic? In addition, if keepers of swimming facilities would evaluate their grounds to be sure a child cannot drown or become overwhelmed, many lives would be saved.
The events of this past weekend has reminded us of several do’s and don’ts when dealing with children and water. They are,:
· always supervise your children in and near water
· Do not assume lifeguards can watch all of the children at the same time
· Stay attentive
· Secure pool covers and checks the covers regularly
· Look out for other children as well as your own.