Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Water Safety

The summer is not even half way over and here in Quebec we have heard of many drownings of both children and adults. It pains me to hear a story especially when a child drowns in a pool or a lake or even in a bathtub. Yesterday, a one year old baby was left in a bathtub with a two year old sibling. The father ran to the kitchen and was away from the children for about three minutes and when he returned, the one year old had drowned. So so tragic and sad. The courts are thinking of charging the father with criminal negligence. We don't know the whole story yet, but what we do know is that a child should never be left unattended in water at any time.

Water safety is not just about knowing how to swim but there has to be a clear understanding to children and adults about the perils of the water. Whether it is kayaking in a river where the currents are difficult or a back yard pool which would not be manned by a trained lifeguard, the risks for danger and accidents is always there.

I think back to the days when Kelly-Anne would teach water safety. I remember her little picture cards that she had laminated. She would have group discussions on the deck of the pool with her students teaching them about water safety. It is not enough to know how to swim and for Kelly-Anne, she understood the entire picture and knew that the need was there to complete her teachings about the water. I remember seeing her drawings of sailboats, life jackets and diving boards. I happened to be at the pool one day and there she was was with her little group of young swimmers. They sat around her listening attentively as Kelly-Anne spoke to them. She was so good at it and one could see how the children adored being with her.

This recent bathtub drowning is a reminder to all parents to always be vigilant with their children. I see no point in charging this father...he has now paid the price and a jail sentence would not even compare to the loss of his baby and the life sentence he now must endure.

Each day I am at the pool and even though I do not have young children with me, I have a tendancy to be mindful of the young ones in and around the pool. It's like a reflex and I feel we all have to be alert as accidents happen so quickly.