It’s true that this post is a slight departure from my regular offerings, but as it is topic that I feel quite strongly about, I thought it was important to share my experiences…
This is a happy but sobering story of just 20 short seconds that could have changed my life in the most tragic of ways.
Twenty seconds is such a short amount of time, just a blink of an eye, just one moment. Sometimes if you are lucky it can be the exciting moment when your lotto numbers come up, but for an unfortunate few, it can be really devastating.
In my case, my twenty seconds saved Emma’s life.
Last summer Emma was two, and as toddlers tend to do, she had a tendency to run away from me and not stop. Because of this, I was always in a hyper vigilant state that was exhausting but necessary. I’d taken her to the beach that day for a play in the water, and she ran away from me yet again. The water was shallow, I had my eye on her the whole time. Then all of a sudden she was gone, disappeared into a big dredged out hole on the beach near a canal. She bobbed up once and disappeared again. I just remember running fast and jumping in, the water up to my chest, she was well under.
I pulled her out, she was stunned and started crying. I can still remember the overwhelming feeling of relief that came over me at that moment. She was ok, in a little bit of shock, but still with me. I am so thankful that I wasn’t distracted or talking on the phone at that moment, I wouldn’t have seen where she fell and she could have drowned.
Luckily for all of us she didn’t and we got strawberry ice cream instead, life went on and for that I am grateful.
Emma and I still talk about that day, she remembers it vividly, “You saved me mummy, I nearly drowned!” She didn’t run away much after that, it scared her straight.
We were lucky, others aren’t.
I had a customer once, in my old shop, who came in regularly, until she didn’t. Six months later she popped in but looked sad and not quite herself. We chatted and eventually she told me how her 18 month old had drowned in her own backyard pool whilst she was attending to another child. It was heart wrenching and tragic. My heart hurts when ever I think about it and I’ll never forget the sad look in her eyes even after all this time.
There are so many sad stories like this, of preventable deaths where children have drowned in the silliest of places like buckets and wading pools, dams and ponds.
It’s just so important to be super vigilant when toddlers are around water, it only takes 20 seconds for a toddler to drown…
I encourage you to visit www.watersafety.vic.gov.au/toddler and Play it safe by the water this summer.
(just as a side note, these are actually photos I took that day, it blows me away to think the top one may have been the last image I ever had of her)
Have you had 20 seconds that changed your life?