16 in 2008.
17 in 2009.
20 in 2010.
8 as of June 5, 2011.
Those are the totals of how many children have drowned in Maricopa County, Arizona, since 2008. I think as of today we're at 10, so we're on track to tie or surpass last year. We live in the desert, and while there are lakes, most if not all of these deaths occurred in backyard swimming pools. My heart breaks every time I hear one of these stories on the news: "I ran inside for two seconds", "There was no fence around the pool", "We thought he was in the house", "I thought you were watching her", "He crawled out the doggie door". I don't know how you go on. I am not sure I could. I hear this stuff, and I think how could they let that happen? It's not possible. But it is. Ask yourself honestly...do you know where your toddler is and what he/she is doing every second? Even the five second gap it takes to get out the back door and into the pool? Five seconds. That's all it takes to end a life, and change others forever.
We don't have a pool in our yard. We do have one in the community, and most of our family members have one at their homes. I have that in my mind when ever we go somewhere. This is one area of parenting I think you have to have in your mind all the time...watch your kid...especially if there is water anywhere in the vicinity.
Sabrina loves the water. I'm glad she does; nothing gives kids more fun all summer than playing in the pool with family and friends. But it does scare me a little. I don't want the pool to be something she's drawn to before she's ready for it, before it's safe. So we enrolled in Swimming Lessons. It's mostly water safety at this point, and she's learning to climb out of the pool, breath control, and floating, among other things. It's important to help young children develop skills that can make a difference in an emergency. And have fun doing it.
Please. Watch your kids around water. Two seconds is too long.
Come on in the water's fine...