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May 19th, 2017
Drowning accounts for an estimated 360,000 annual deaths worldwide. According to the CDC, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury death among children aged 1–4 years and the second leading cause of unintentional injury death among children 5–9 years. More than 60% of fatal drownings of 0–4-year-olds occur in swimming pools.
This subject matter, when discussed, inevitably finds many who have a drowning or near drowning experience or know someone who has. Including myself.
When my daughter was two she fell into the deep end of our pool, while myself, her father, aunt and older brother were all in the house. I share my story, to bring awareness to a preventable tragedy.
What I know…
Our pool gate was not closed properly. None of us can explain why we didn’t check it, but we didn’t.
I was in the kitchen; my husband, son, and sister-in-law were in the backyard. My daughter wandered outside, and I heard my husband tell her to go back inside but I didn’t see any of them come inside.
I finished what I was doing, went to the living room where my sister-in-law had just sat down with my son and out of the corner of my eye, I saw my husband react. As he came out of our office, I saw him throw papers in the air and sprint outside. Before the papers hit the ground, I knew that our daughter was in the pool. I ran to the backyard but he was already in the water, pulling her up. She was conscious. Spitting up water, she started to cry, clinging to me for 20 minutes before she’d even let me take her wet diaper off. Her eyes were as big as saucers.
My husband said he didn’t hear anything, not a splash, not a cry. None of us heard anything. What he saw, what caught his attention, was our dog. Our dog was looking in the pool and my husband realized the pool water had ripples. He said when he dove in, our daughter was almost to the very bottom of the deep end. Her diaper, heavy with water, pulling her down.
It’s been five years since that day and my family is still acutely aware that our story could have ended differently, that we could have lost our daughter to drowning because the pool gate was not latched properly, and we had all been inside the house.
Today, although both my children are strong swimmers, they are not allowed unsupervised in or near the pool.
Drowning is silent, it is quick, and it can happen to anyone.
It’s especially important this time of year, as the weather warms, to be aware around water and take as many precautions as you can.
Remember that pool safety is a life skill, not a nice to have. Being water safe can save a life.
Tips from the CDC, to help you and your family stay safe in the water:
If you have a swimming pool at home:
If you are in and around natural water settings:
For more information, visit:
A tragedy such as drowning or near drowning cannot be prevented by insurance coverage but if you have questions or concerns regarding your personal property and liability, our Personal Line advisors at Brown & Brown can help.
Brown & Brown of Southern California