Sunday, June 23, 2013

Splish Splash Safety

Bobby Hazen, sublime swimming safety hero.
I'm sitting inside an air-conditioned Dunkin Donuts on this beautiful Sunday afternoon for a good reason. That is, they just introduced a new doughnut - lemon-filled, sugar-coated and so very paunch-inducing. To offset this senseless indulgence, in a few minutes I will bike home, rig up a cart using my neighbor's four-wheeled thing, an old baby gate and a jumprope and pull my two boys down the street and around the corner to their friend's aunt's house for a swim. it is the leading cause for children between 1 and 4.

And this is really what brought me here. Summer has begun, and for many of us that means swimming! For some, this also means tragedy. According to the CDC,

Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for children ages 1 to 14 years.

And the leading cause for children between 1 and 4. I've already been out in the backyard a couple of times this season with my kids, watching as they play in four inches of water in their inflatable whale pool. My one-year-old daughter plays on a carpet or in the grass nearby, and as usual, she eventually wants to get involved in what her big brothers are doing.

It is extremely easy to become complacent, to let our attention wander on such a beautiful day when our kids are having fun and, for once, not fighting. But in these moments little girls and boys can crawl or wobble over to four inches of water and topple in. If mom or dad has run into the house 'just for a second' the consequences could be horrific.

There are people committed to helping keep our children safe in the water. One of them is Bobby Hazen. Read about him over at my blog about the great things people in our neighborhoods are doing every day.

And have a safe, wet, wonderful summer! -- kk