In 2002, my friend and mentor (and maniac) Dr. Gordon Geisbrecht fell - on purpose - through the ice on a frozen lake. He wanted to demonstrate just how those who fall through the ice [...]
It’s July and hot outside and you head to the neighborhood pool for the day. The kids want to swim and you just want to be doing nothing for awhile. Everyone files through the gate as you scan for an open lounge chair and your friends. The kids have sunscreen on, you have your book, and yes – Mike is the lifeguard on duty. You like Mike. He’s a good kid and always nice to yours and he doesn’t tolerate too much funny business. He’s been a lifeguard here for three seasons now, he’s Red Cross certified, and you have seen him in action. With cat-like reflexes and keen eyes, Mike has yanked more than his share of non-swimming kids out of the deep end. “Why don’t their parents watch them more closely?” you think. Then you crack open your book as your strong-swimming kids head into the pool under the watchful eye of good-old Mike. Ten minutes later – your 12-year-old is standing over you, dripping onto your book and crying. He almost drowned but your neighbor, Julie, saw it and got to him just in time. “He took on a little water – you should have him checked out,” Julie says. Mike is walking over to you now, confused and visibly upset. He never saw a thing, and it happened right in front of him. […]
This morning I received an email from a reader who was struggling with a boating safety question. She and her husband enjoy the water and and they have two small children and they just couldn’t seem to get together on one issue: How much supervision is enough out there on the water? She gave me permission to post her question and my answer to her here. What do you think? Your comments would be appreciated. Here is the email and my answer: Hey Mario – Given your area of expertise, I was hoping you could provide an opinion on a boating matter to help settle a family discussion. Here goes – Do you think it is wise for an adult to boat alone with two 2-year-olds. They would be on a standard pontoon boat that has seating around the entire front and 36″ guard rail where there isn’t seating. The little ones would obviously be in life vests. The adult would not be wearing a life vest (but there would be an available life vest for him on the boat). Thoughts? Thanks for your input! I didn’t know who to ask and you came to mind!! If you are celebrating Easter – Happy Easter! A Concerned Mom Never shrinking from getting into the middle of a family …discussion…I replied. Dear Concerned Mom: There are a huge number of variables to consider and I thought about getting into all of them but I’ll just tell you my initial gut reaction and why I had it: […]
The Consumer Product Safety Commission receives reports every year of drownings that occur in water sources (and other liquids) not normally associated with drownings - things found in an around landlocked homes without pools. Understanding that it happens (however rarely) and why and how it happens can be all it takes to make sure it doesn't happen to you.
I couldn’t feel my hands anymore and using them was impossible. The shivering was uncontrollable and violent. “That’s a good sign,” I thought to myself. I remembered from my studies of hypothermia that shivering stops before you lose consciousness. “If I’m still shivering than I’ll live for a while longer”, I reasoned. But mostly I was wondering about how I got myself into that mess.
I’m going to come right out and tell you something that almost no one in the maritime industry understands. That includes mariners, executives, managers, insurers, dock workers, for certain – fisherman, and even many (most) [...]
I received a copy of a powerful letter sent to members of the Texas State Senate and Governor Rick Perry. The Letter is from a reader whose grandson drowned last year. Shortly after his death, she discovered that her state is one of the few that have no residential pool safety laws regarding access, and she is on a mission: Her letter is posted here so that other Texas residents can send it in, along with their support, joining Kim in her request that Texas enact legislation to better protect its children from drowning. _________________________ A Plea to Lawmakers: My name is Kim Southerland Jacinto and I was a grandmother. I’m not anymore. Last year my two-year-old grandson, Bryan, wandered next door – through an unlocked front gate – and into the neighbor’s pool. After a desperate search he was found too late; the 93rd childhood drowning victim in Texas in 2009. It was August. There would be 20 more. Going through the obvious grief and pain of a loss so dear, my family is doing its best to move on. But your grandchildren are supposed to bury you, so it has been hard to get past it all. Grief being what it is, and a grandmother’s love being what it is – I’ve been working hard to figure it out and more than that, actually do something. I know you are very busy, but please bear with me through the hard things I’ve learned over the year since Bryan’s death: Drowning is the leading cause of death for Children under six years old in Texas. For every child that dies from drowning, another four are hospitalized for aquatic injury – some never fully recover. In 2009, the 113 childhood drownings were a state record; eclipsing the average of 70. 2010 is on track to break the record again. Residential pools and spas account for over half those deaths. The State of Texas has no laws governing access control of residential swimming pools. […]