Pool Saftey

Pool Saftey

PostBy: qbwebb On: Fri Jun 20, 2014 10:13 pm

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.
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: VF3000

Re: Pool Saftey

PostBy: Flyer5 On: Fri Jun 20, 2014 10:24 pm

A good article for summer.

Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line WL110
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Leisure Line Pioneer

Re: Pool Saftey

PostBy: michaelanthony On: Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:14 pm

Take it easy on yourself qbwebb, were you selfish for looking after your daughter...of course you were and everyone else their should have been just as selfish. Good catch by the way.

Thanks for the article Dave.
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Re: Pool Saftey

PostBy: Lightning On: Sat Jun 21, 2014 6:34 am

Wow that's scary!! Thanks for sharing your story.. It never fails that people assume too much. In St.Mary's Pa where I deliver bread, there was a family reunion several years ago. A toddler fell in a pool that was unattended and drowned. The toddler was only missing a few minutes and the family members weren't far from the pool.

At my house, we specifically appoint a life guard when we have a gathering and small children are present.
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Overmodified/Bored out Clayton 1537
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Awesome Size

Re: Pool Saftey

PostBy: coalkirk On: Sat Jun 21, 2014 9:47 am

My wife showed me the drowning doesn't look like drowning story last summer. Really good stuff to know. Recently she showed me one about dry drowning. Don't have the link to it now but it involves mostly children who are rescued from the water but have water in their lungs.
I'm on my phone at the beach or I would google it and post a link. Scary stuff.
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1981 EFM DF520
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Re: Pool Saftey

PostBy: titleist1 On: Sat Jun 21, 2014 10:11 am

Wow....a good ending that could have been tragic....good job by you to be as close as you were.

I know what you mean about feeling responsible though. If we go somewhere that has a pool I usually head over to act as lifeguard since the parents don't pay enough attention and the people there aren't much to talk to anyway.
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III on standby for long power outages
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite; Nut/Anthracite

Re: Pool Saftey

PostBy: Ctyankee On: Sat Jun 21, 2014 5:27 pm

I grew up with a pool and was a lifeguard as a teen. Even now 40 years later, when I am at a place with a pool I try to facing the pool and watch. I guess once a lifeguard always a lifeguard.

I watch for unusual splashing, might be just playing... or maybe fighting for life. Scanning not just the surface but also the bottom. It is easy for someone to dive in and hit the bottom and be unconscious. If the pool is cloudy and the bottom can not be seen, my kids didn't go in if there were lots of people in the pool.

I got a pool now and I disconnected the underwater light (electrical hazard) and removed the bottom suction drain. A few years ago a kid in the State got his hand stuck in a suction and it kept him underwater.

It's crazy how many times I have read in the paper about a party with parents all around the pool with their kids and some kid is pulled out after being underwater for minutes!
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 503 insert
Coal Size/Type: nut and pea

Re: Pool Saftey

PostBy: freetown fred On: Sat Jun 21, 2014 9:07 pm

All I can say to all this is---when I go somewhere with the kids when they were small--it was MY responsibility to keep an eye on them---NO ONE ELSES!!!!!!!!!!!! As for those music teachers---I won't even go there :mad: Nice save gb :)
freetown fred
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut

Re: Pool Saftey

PostBy: qbwebb On: Sat Jun 21, 2014 9:39 pm

My wife got a follow up from the mother today, apparently after the party the little girl had a 102 temp as was coughing, they took her in to be checked out and did a chest x-ray for fluid in the lungs. X-rays were clear and her fever is down now, probably wasn't much time before things got worse. I keep playing the scenario over in my head, had I jumped in fully clothed from the other end would I have gotten there quicker, or was I better off sprinting to the other side laying down and extending to grab her, I had to pull her towards me under water for a second before I could lift her out without falling in myself.

Thanks for all your replies, I like the one about the self appointed life guard because there aren't really too many people worth talking to anyways, funny how often that is the case. It really is scary how quiet it was, no splash, no yell for help, no flailing or air gasp, just a vertical little girl with head under water kicking feet like crazy.
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: VF3000

Re: Pool Saftey

PostBy: Hambden Bob On: Sat Jun 21, 2014 10:15 pm

Look,being frank about this,you'd better let some of this go,and stop replaying it in your head,for your own sake. Enough of pounding on yourself. You did a damn fine job of saving someone else's kid. Time to understand the good that you did and get on with your summer. You did really well. The Panic Attack would be if you wouldn't have been vigilant,and reacted the way you did. Again,cut yourself some slack,give yourself a break and stand down from this. Nice Job,Mister :up:
Hambden Bob
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Re: Pool Saftey

PostBy: titleist1 On: Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:20 am

Major plus 1 to what HB said. Everything turned out OK, the parents hopefully learned to watch their kid, you were there or it would have been worse.

I would have taken the same approach as you because for me the sprinting to her aid would have been faster than swimming. I am picturing it would also have been slower getting her and you out of the pool from in the water rather than above.

By the way, I learned from watching that educational show called Baywatch to always have a near drowning victim checked for water in lungs even if they seem OK. That show was sooooooo educational, I think it was on PBS!!! :up:
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Re: Pool Saftey

PostBy: coalnewbie On: Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:28 am

So what I did with my pool. Tired of looking after it 365 for two weeks of pool play, I filled it in and planted flowers in it. No kid ever drowned there after that.
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Re: Pool Saftey

PostBy: Sunny Boy On: Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:38 am


Having grown up on the water front and taken life saving course, I can tell you, your instincts were right on target.

1.You took responsibility for and watched over your own child.
2. You quickly reacted to an emergency.
3. You ran and reached rather than jumped in. Since I'm sure you can run faster than you can swim, you instinctively chose the much faster and safer way, that also gave you the best continuous view of the victim in case she were to go under.

Don't think for an instant of faulting yourself because other parents aren't as vigilant of their children as you are of yours.

Well done !

Sunny Boy
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Re: Pool Saftey

PostBy: Ctyankee On: Sun Jun 22, 2014 11:16 am

Running allowed you to keep your eyes on the child, so running seem to have been the best move.
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Coal Size/Type: nut and pea