Friday, August 6, 2010

Drowning doesn't look like Drowning

This is a very good article.
To get an idea of just how quiet and undramatic from the surface drowning can be, consider this:  It is the number two cause of accidental death in children, age 15 and under (just behind vehicle accidents) – of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult.  In ten percent of those drownings, the adult will actually watch them do it, having no idea it is happening (source: CDC).
... there is some interesting stuff in the comments, such as this:
We were at the shallow end of the pool, with him all the time going towards the deep end, and me having to pull him back all the time. It didn't matter that I told him that it is dangerous to go past a certain point (i found a visual reference to let him now that this is the "barrier", that he should not pass that point).

So after around 10 minutes in which our chasing game became tiring for me, I thought of giving him a small lesson. I let him walk into the pool, with me staying not further than half a meter (2 feet) behind him. Of course, he started going into deeper and deeper water, and he didn't stop even when when he was neck-deep in the water. At the point when the water was around above his mouth level , he started panicking, turned towards me and started to give me a blank stare (which I now know might have been the IDR).

Since I know that 5 seconds or more under the water is not a big problem for him (I mentioned before that we are diving together), I didn't immediately reached for him, but I rather left him in that situation for around 2 seconds (3 heart-beats). Enough for him to get really scared. Then I reached out, and pulled him into my arms.

He instantly started crying (not much though), and was holding me very tight. After 3 minutes he "forgot" and continued playing in the shalow water. However, he didn't forget the danger, and subsequently NEVER tried to go back in deep water again for the stay, allowing me to be more relaxed. Of course, I didn't loose him from sight, but I didn't have to stay in the water all the time with him, and I could relax on a lounge-seat next to the pool drinking something while watching him play in the shalow water.
... and later, this:
I have a friend that has been raised by his parents in terror of water (and basically everything else). I was shocked to see that he was literally terrified of entering in a 2-feet deep water (in the exact same spa) when he was 17 years old. I am not exagerating. Literally TERRIFIED TO GET INTO 2 FEET OF CLEAR WATER.

I have another friend that buys airplane tickets only for flights served by certain AIRPLANE MODELS (not airliners), because he checked the crash statistics. I mean he would spend 1000 euros (I live in Europe) for a flight that can be bought for 300 euros in another day (same flight) because he is afraid of dying. I can only imagine the fear he must always have when flying. And he's not necessarily afraid of flying. He's affraid of dying.

In both these cases it was a fear induced by their parents. I mean come on!!! They are so affraid of dying, that they don't live. That is not a life I want my children to have. No matter what might happen.
There are also parents advocating stuff that seems overprotective to me, but finding the right level of protectivness is far from obvious.

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