A tragic story unfolded this weekend when two young siblings drown in a local lake here in Texas. What makes the story even more tragic is that the 6-year-old girl and her 4-year-old brother were in foster care, and according to this news story were clearly not being closely supervised.
”There was nobody. There was nobody for the first five or ten minutes they were doing CPR on the girl. Everybody was looking around asking where her parents were.”
These foster parents certainly weren’t abiding by these water safety rules for foster homes.
The water safety rules state that at least one ADULT supervising swimming activities “must be able to swim, carry out a water rescue, and be prepared to do so in an emergency.” There were reports that a 12-year-old was supervising the children. A 12-YEAR-OLD??? I certainly wouldn’t run the risk of a 12-year-old getting distracted while supervising young children in an open body of water.
The water safety rules require foster homes with swimming pools that “caregivers must be able to see all parts of the swimming area when supervising activity.” The caregivers obviously weren’t supervising at all because they didn’t even notice their foster daughter was having CPR performed on her for at least 10 minutes!
The water safety rules specifically state that a child must wear a life jacket when “the child is in more than two feet of water and does not know how to swim.” The children obviously weren’t wearing life jackets. Why not? Life jackets were easily accessible at the lake for free.
I guess some people just don’t realize how easily a child can drown and how closely a child must be supervised while swimming.
This summer, I was overjoyed to watch my boys swim a short distance after a week of lessons. (see my 7-year-old son swim on Instagram) This weekend, at our aunt’s pool, we worked on swimming skills, and I realized that my 4-year-old Lil Bit really doesn’t have the ability to swim any distance at all. (He’s just not kicking quickly enough) As I was working with my now 7-year-old, my aunt gasped and pointed. My 4-year-old Lil Bit, had stepped off the pool step and was struggling to swim to the edge of the pool! I was standing right next to him! Swimming can be such a dangerous activity! A child can drown so easily!
The drowning deaths of these two foster children infuriates me! Their drownings were preventable! If only had the foster parents simply followed the water safety rules and adequately supervised swimming!
Do your children know how to swim? What additional water safety rules do you follow?