The following story is about an incident that happened with Radha, and how Radha’s swimming lessons have no doubt prevented a disaster.
Radha is 3.5 years old and has been going to swimming lessons at a local Swim School since she was a baby. I took the kids for a swim at my friend’s house one day during the summer and they were playing around the steps, showing no intention of getting right in. The kids have always been a bit timid when swimming anytime other than during their lessons, and usually just wade in the shallow without going under. I briefly went outside the pool gate towards the house to get something, during which time the kids wandered to the deep end of the pool, which was out of my sight. Seisha (my 5 year old son) came back into view straight away and I stopped and waited for Radha to follow. When she didn’t follow I called out to her, and no sooner had I done that did I hear her crying and calling for Mummy. When I got to her, Radha was floating perfectly on her back with her feet pointing towards the edge of the pool and her head pointing towards the centre of the pool. I suspect she had crouched down to pick up a toy on the side of the pool then fallen in. Her tummy and face were perfectly out of the water and whilst she was continuing to float away from the edge she was not dipping under the water at all. I reached for her ankles and pulled her to me and out of the water.
She was shaken by the incident, but otherwise fine. When it happened I spoke to her calmly and did not panic or make a fuss, as I didn’t want it to leave her with a fear of the water. I continued to congratulate her on doing such a great job of floating, and that she was an excellent swimmer. After a while of cuddling and relaxing with Mummy, I encouraged her to get back in the pool before too long, as I didn’t want her to think that swimming was scary.
We all got in the pool together and had a lot of fun. It all happened in mere moments with no audible splash, a frightening thing for any parent. I was so proud of Radha for using her swimming skills in her time of need, and I am so grateful to our local Swim School and all the teachers, for teaching her these life skills in such a fun and functional way.
We are so happy that this had a happy ending. Children reaching for objects (toys, etc.), is one of the most common ways that children fall into bodies of water. Remember not to leave any objects in the pool!