In light of the recent tragedy here in Colorado, I want to emphasize the need for water safety education programs aimed at children.
I spent the weekend following the story of six-year-old David Puckett on Twitter. The boy left his home Saturday afternoon and within hours a search was underway. It was announced on Monday that plans were being made to search a pond at the local park. Upon reading this news on Twitter, I was instantly saddened. I dreaded the outcome, yet some part of me already knew this boy was in the pond.
A child’s body was found in the pond on Tuesday, and the following day this child was identified as the missing David.
I immediately thought of my six-year-old boy. While I held him close, I discussed with him the need to avoid bodies of water, frozen or otherwise, unless he is with myself, his father, or his older sister. I wept, not only from the thought of losing another child, but for the family of David Puckett and the pain that I know they are now feeling.
It is important to remember that children are naturally drawn to water and to instill in them an importance of being cautious around bodies of water and ice.
Start this while they are young and re-emphasize it as they grow.
Please take the time to ensure that your children understand that while water, and frozen water, provide fun activities; water in any form can be dangerous and life threatening if approached alone and without adult supervision.
Let’s not forget the four essential layers of protection: Supervision, Barriers, Gear, and Education.
Education is vital to drowning prevention, but we all have to do our part!