Water safety is a big issue in my family. It’s always been important, but last year we really got a chance to see just how important it is. You see, my oldest son almost drowned in a boating accident last year. He survived only because he was wearing a life jacket. We were out boating when my husband and son jumped into the lake for a quick swim. The waves picked up so I went to turn the boat around to go pick them up – but the boat wouldn’t start. The starter on the boat had gone bad. Within minutes, I watched as my husband and son floated so far out in the water that I could no longer see them.
They were in the water for well over an hour before the coast guard found them and by then, my son’s body temperature was so low that he had to be rushed by ambulance to the nearest hospital – all while I was still stranded on the lake watching the ambulance drive away. I was told later that if his body temperature had gone down another 5 degrees or so, he wouldn’t have survived. The fact that they both had life jackets on is the only thing that kept them alive in rough waters long enough to be rescued.
It was a scary experience and it still gives me nightmares. Today, I’m signing up my two oldest children for swimming lessons so they can be as prepared as possible for an emergency in the water.
It’s one thing, however, for me to understand water safety. It’s another thing entirely to make sure my kids understand. My son won’t go near water without his life jacket now but there are many other aspects of water safety that all children need to be reminded of. Disney and Underwriters Laboratories have put out a great video about water safety that is designed with kids in mind. It features Pumbaa and Timon from The Lion King and talks about water safety in a way that is entertaining and easy for kids to understand.
I’d highly recommend watching the Safety Smarts video with your kids and talking about the basics of water safety before we get too deeply into summer. All three of my kids sat and watched the video all the way through. My kids are really good about trying to do whatever they need to do to stay safe. If I arm them with a little bit of information they definitely remember it.
“I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Underwriters Laboratories. Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.”[table “19” not found /]