It happens more often than I would like to say. The girls are in their seats at the kitchen table. I turn my back for what seems like seconds. I may hear a strange sound, or just happen to turn around at the right moment to catch the little one with red-rimmed teary eyes nearly bulging out. My ambitious little big-biter is choking!
Usually she sputters, coughs, and works it out, although I have had to intervene more than a few times. It always feels so scary. And I am always struck by that fact that I wouldn’t have heard anything.
That sickening silence.
That very silence is one of the things that stays with me about drownings. Unlike many accidents or threatening events, a drowning is a silence unnoticed for sometimes mere seconds too long.
Those of us who work in the pediatric intensive care unit see far too many drownings and near drownings every single year. Just the night before last, I saw yet another close call reported on the local news. And really, even one is too many, isn’t it?
The other thing that I know always strikes my co-workers and I, is that many of these incidents occur in the midst of large groups of people. They are at a pool party, on a field trip, in summer camp, at a community pool. With so many people around, it can still happen so quickly. So quietly.
Now, we PICU mamas may be excessively anxious when our kids are near a pond, a water feature, or in the tub. We definitely can’t be much fun at a pool party.
We just see these tragedies happen to wonderful, responsible families all too often.
About two years ago, one of my favorite writers, Darcie (Of Such the Spot) shared about her family’s experience in this incredibly honest and compelling post. Seriously, even if you’ve never read anything I have linked to: READ THIS post.
And now, ever the woman of admirable action, Becca of (Our Crazy Boys) is hosting a local CPR event tomorrow to help make a difference. I know that I am late in telling you about this particular event, but I just didn’t want to miss the opportunity to lift my voice to the chorus urging:
Be vigilant around water and kids. Make sure someone is watching each child. Learn CPR. You really never know when you may be in a position to save a life.
Feel free to contact me if you would like to find a CPR class in your area. I know Becca would be happy to help as well.
Now to (sort of) lighten up…
At least, take a minute to laugh and learn with this funny but educational video:
*Warning: this video is for adults in more ways than one:) A little sex appeal helps to make the information memorable, and “hands only” CPR is currently recommended for adults. Rescue breathing is still generally indicated for young children because their collapse is usually secondary to a respiratory failure.
For more information and listings of classes near you, here is the American Heart Association website .
I would love to hear from you. I’m off to hug my babies just a little too tight…