It happened so fast my eyes didn’t even process what I was seeing. My 3-year-old daughter — the love of my life — had slipped and ended up face down in the baby pool. I was standing just a few feet away. Fortunately, the lifeguard knew what he was looking at and alerted me. My little girl was safe in the end. My heart, pumping double-time, probably didn’t settle down for another day or two.
Most parents with little ones will experience a pool emergency at some point. If we’re not lucky, extremely vigilant, or both, a close call can turn into a full-blown tragedy in the blink of an eye.
This isn’t irrational parent fear talking. About 400 kids drown in pools every year. The majority of those deaths happen in swimming pools at homes, not at the local swim club. Three-quarters of those residential drownings are children 5 years old and younger.1 If the hair on the back of your neck is standing up reading those stats, here’s what you can do to make sure it never happens to you.
Toddler Safety Myth Buster: Kids and floaties are pure cuteness, but floaties are easy to puncture and they can slip off little arms easily. Worst of all, parents tend to pay less attention to kids in floaties, assuming they’re safe. Ditch the floaties and try a U.S. Coast Guard–approved kiddie life vest instead.