Please heed these warnings. It was just a month ago that a toddler, just four years old, who drowned while on a family cruise aboard Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas.
At the end of July a two year old drowned in the pool at a Day’s Inn in Kansas City.
Earlier last year, , a 10-year-old girl drowned in an unsupervised pool aboard the Norwegian Gem as it sailed off the coast of South Carolina. In October 2013, a six-year-old child drowned while on a Caribbean cruise with her family aboard the Carnival Victory.
These are not the first such drownings, or near drownings, of its kind.
Nothing ever goes wrong on a Disney vacation, right?
Only after a four-year-old child was pulled from the pool of its Fantasy cruise ship, where the child was alive, but suffered a brain injury which will necessitate expensive medical care for life, did Disney implement a lifeguard program on its ships.
Even though signs were posted that there were no lifeguards on duty, it was at a Disney resort in 2013 where a 13-year-old boy was found at the bottom of a swimming pool and could not be resuscitated.
Following each of these deaths there was a cry for voluntary, or legislative action, to have cruise ships and resorts make sure there is always a lifeguard stationed at its swimming pools.
But it is up to us as parents and guardians, even when there are lifeguards, to understand how quickly a drowning can occur.
As one writer pointed out, a child drowning does not appear the same as on television, where after loud thrashing and screaming, a bystander jumps in the pool just in time to save the day. Water can be a silent killer, and as we become engrossed in conversation with our spouse or friends, the worst and most unexpected things can happen.
I know this first hand.
When my son was only three-years-old, while on a vacation in Florida, we were walking back to our rented condo for lunch with my son following behind me playing with a towel over his head. I was confident he was with me — until something made me turn around to find him not there.
Blinded by the towel, he had turned in the wrong direction and tumbled into the pool. When I got to the side of the pool, his face was about 15 centimetres under water, kicking his feet and looking up at me with the widest eyes I have ever seen as I grabbed his hand and pulled him out of danger.
It could have been the worst day of my life, and it taught me a lesson I will never forget: lifeguards or not, we bear the responsibility of watching out for our children.
In the United States the Consumer Product Safety commission strongly suggests parents never, never ever even for a few minutes, leave their children alone in or around a pool.
Unsupervised children near water can be a recipe for disaster. And while this article is about pools all the same precautions need to be taken on beaches or near lakes.
It is so easy to get carried away in conversations with friends and associates. And equally easy for children to get lost in their play and wonder off . So be alert at all times…for them and you.