Near Drowning

by Rita

I was 9 when I was found floating on my stomach in a public pool. That experience was one of the scariest of my life, and yes I was very lucky. I still remember every detail, not to mention the fear I felt when I saw my 5 year old niece follow me down the steps. I thought for sure she would fall in too. Thank God she turned around and went back up the steps and out of the pool.

Even though I could see people walking by, and I kept trying to get someone's attention no one noticed. (Way back when the pool was built with grey concrete and the water was pumped in from the ocean, so you couldn't see anyone if they were underwater)

I vividly remember my life flashing before my eyes; backwards to be exact and then this sinking into what seemed a dark hole, and then darkness. The next thing I remember, was waking up in the life guard shack with all these faces looking down at me, wondering who I belonged to. I got to ride in an ambulance, and yes I spent a day in a hospital afterward even though I felt fine.

Anyway, that was a long time ago, and because of that experience I have made sure both my children are good swimmers, and understand the importance of water safety.

My oldest has been a competitive swimmer for the last 10 years. She has taken life guard courses, and yes you would think that as they get older they should be well versed on the dangers of swimming pools.

Well she's almost 16, and I'm not sure if it's this "over confidence stage" yet a few weeks ago she showed me pictures of her and a friend swimming in her friends pool, and what shocked me was that the pool still had the cover on it. They were swimming from one end of the pool to the other underneath the cover. What was even more upsetting was that the parent knew they were doing this. I don't believe I am over sensitive on this issue, because of my own experience.

My daughter felt I was making a big deal out of it, yet I don't believe so.

So I think your topic is a great one to include for all ages, and something all pool owners should be aware of when considering a pool. Never leave kids of any age unattended.

Hope this helps, Rita

Comments for Near Drowning

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Aug 04, 2008
Near Death
by: Dennis

Thank you Rita for sharing your near death experience. I have done some studying on this topic as I have had a couple myself. They say a near death experience will change your life forever. I believe it has mine.

One thing that comes up over and over again from people that have had near death experiences is that they are so much calmer than most people. I have always remembered a line from one ladies account of her life after her experience. It has always reminded me of myself. Her son had either done or said something that should have caused a major reaction from mom. When his friend asked him why his mom did not kill him, or at least beat him he said "don't worry about her, she has seen the other side".

Your story, as do so many, reminds us that children can drown in pools while surrounded by other people. Until a child has learned to swim they should always be firmly attached to a floatation device when they are around water.

I had a house once that had a nice in ground pool just off the patio. It was not fenced. My girls were all good swimmers at the time so it was not a big concern for me. The play areas in the yard were the patio and then the grass beyond the pool.

My sister in law had a seven year old son that could not swim. In order for him to play in the backyard he had to wear a life jacket. I always felt so sorry for him but I know his mom loved him and she was doing the right thing.

We seldom think of having to watch our teenagers too. If they are anything like I was you better be watching them all the time. I was a suicidal nut when it came to water and pools. The roof on our home had tar and then a coating of little white rocks. Every time my dad would find rocks in the pool he knew I had been diving off the roof. I should still be grounded for doing that.

Kids of all ages need watched at all times around water.

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