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Child Safety And Common Sense

Some common sense is especially important when it comes to child safety in water.

Going swimming at one of the many local lakes is a very fun summer pastime in Minnesota. With all the flotation devices available these days, it’s amazing to see so many children without any safety equipment in the water.

Here is a true story of what happened at the lake… Recently, we spent an afternoon at Lake Chippewa swimming with our youngest son. After a while Nathan started playing with a few younger children. Silke and I were further out frolicking in the water when she looked back to the beach to check on him and noticed a toddler toppling forward and being unable to stand back up.

The little girl didn’t wear any flotation device at all!

Floatation device for children

Nathan playing in the lake

There were up to 20 people on the beach and in the water, and nobody else had seen her go under.

Silke yelled at me to get to her quickly. I must admit that for as far as we were out, it felt like it took forever to get to the shore where this toddler was at. By the time I got to the little girl I could see her looking up through the water and slowly descending downward.

I pulled her up, rolled her over my arm and patted her on the back to let the water run out of her lungs. By this time Silke arrived by my side and luckily the girl started breathing again. It was strange not to hear her cry as she was trying to regain her breath.

At the sight of Silke she reached her arms out to go to her. Nobody else on the beach seemed to notice what was going on. Where were her parents? A little boy finally came up to us and announced he was her brother, his parents were sitting under some trees with their backs to the water.

Silke carried the girl to her parents and told them what happened to their daughter.

Amazingly their non-responsiveness added to the strangeness of this incident. I told Silke later on that it was her ‘mother’s intuition’ that made her check on the kids in the first place.

These days you can purchase bathing suits for small children with built in flotation devices.

But aside from flotation devices, shouldn’t line of sight for the parents be common sense?

The little girl was under 2 years old and this near drowning experience was undoubtedly very scary for her and us.

Here is a book we found that we think every parent should read:

The Safe Child Book: A Commonsense Approach to Protecting Children and Teaching Children to Protect Themselves

Like one of the reviewers says: “This book gives great tips on how to teach kids how to protect themselves. Parents aren’t always able to be there and this book gives kids tools they need to be able to rely on themselves if/when needed.”

By the way, flotation devices for children and child safety books make great gifts any time of the year!

Have you been in a similar situation? Leave us a comment below. 

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