I have to share this just on the off chance that someone will read it and be a bit more aware. I was at a end of the year teacher party ( my wife teaches 4th grade), and sat by the pool away from the adults with my 2.5 yr old daughter who is very shy and wouldn't let me put her down when we first arrived. I had made a plate of food for her and another little girl who I was told was almost 5 came over to play. I was happy as she was getting my daughter to let her guard down a bit.
My daughter was done eating and a third girl came over (daughter of the hosts), she is around 9 yrs old and loves little kids. So my daughter and the almost 5 yr old started throwing blown up beach balls in the pool and picking them up and throwing them back in. The 2 were having a great time and I was happy because my daughter was laughing and not so afraid of everyone. I had my daughter within 2 ft of me at all times because I knew that there was a risk of her falling in, I watched how she approached the edge of the pool to get the ball she was throwing in and was happy with how cautious she was, but I was laser focused on her because I knew the edge of the pool was the danger zone.
While being laser focused on my daughter I heard someone say Pool loudly, and I looked up at the other end the almost 5 yr old little girl was drowning, apparently she had fallen in trying to retrieve one of the beach balls. I sprinted over to the other end, dropped to my stomach and plucked her out without jumping in. She was crying and upset, I think for an instant I didn't even let her go to her parents who were the next ones over. She coughed a couple times and other adults came over with a towl for her and she prob went on crying for another 5 min or so and then she was back to playing with my 2.5 yr old in the back yard. The dad apologized to me right off saying thanks and I should have been watching her, the mom was upset as well, both music teachers that seemed like very nice people.
Everyone kept saying I was a hero, but I can't stop thinking that I bear some responsibility for what happened.
I wrongly assumed that the girl was older than my daughter, parents weren't right there with her and she would either be safe around the pool or knew how to swim or the 9 yr/old was watching her closely.
I was the responsible adult at the time and I let the girls throw the beach balls into the pool and retrieve them, I told myself it was ok at the time because I was laser focused on my daughter, as the responsible adult I never should have condoned this activity.
I'm still a bit shaken up by the whole ordeal, I hope anyone who reads this will be extra vigilant of children around swimming pools, even if they are not your own and you just met them, don't assume anything. If your at a party and you just got there and don't know anyone, don't be afraid to go to the pool and keep a watchful eye on kids that aren't yours and question who is really responsible for being laser focused on them, don't assume anything.