I've always taken pride in the fact that I'm not a scaredy cat kind of mom. Kid's eating dirt? Good! You need a pound before you die. Kid's spotted a snake in the backyard? Well then stay away from it silly! But throw a pool in front of me, and start your helicopter engines. I'm not letting that kid more than an arm's length away.
You'll understand how the story of 9-year-old Ishaan Singh, who saw the body of a 3-year-old girl resting in the bottom of pool at a California apartment complex, practically gave me heart palpitations. Singh is 100 percent hero material; he jumped right in and saved the toddler while an adult saved the kid's grandpa who was also in the pool. That's some money well spent on swimming lessons!
Everyone is OK now -- Singh, the little girl, even Grandpa. But the fact that the little girl's family was seemingly doing the right thing at the pool to begin with has left me, well, scared.
She was in the pool with a responsible adult. And the last anyone saw them, he was paying attention to her. Doctors are trying to determine how Grandpa and the little girl ended up at the bottom of the pool, but there's a possibility he had a heart attack. With the child unable to swim herself, she was close to drowning before the heroic 9-year-old dove in.
That is what bothers me: the idea that kids who don't know how to swim get into a pool. Sure, you need to start somewhere, and even kids who can't swim get hot in the summer. Maybe I'm extra nervous because my daughter has been resisting her swimming lessons this summer like a prototypical stubborn 6-year-old. I've taken comfort in knowing that she always, always, always has an adult on hand. But as this story just proved, having a responsible adult on hand isn't enough. Disaster can strike at any time. Kids need to know how to swim. You never know when they'll be faced with saving a life -- and it might be their own.
Do your kids know how to swim?
Image via Chad Jones/Flickr