Our Water Baby Hero!

Six-year-old Alexis Weeks of Texas deserves a huge round of applause for saving the life of a two-year-old child who had sunk to the bottom of her swimming pool. Alexis saw her and took immediate action. She jumped in and pulled the child to the surface where she was revived. And then Alexis impressed us even more when she passed on a reward for her quick thinking and heroic act because she felt it was good enough that she had been able to help.

The Mamas love her spirit and are relieved that things turned out so well. It’s also a good reminder to us all though how quickly drowning can happen and we want to remind you to be extremely cautious whenever your child is near water. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 800 children drown each year. It is the leading cause of injury related death for children ages 1-3 and the second for kids under 15. You cannot be too cautious! Young children rarely make a huge splash or flail around in a way that would alert a bystander. Instead, they typically fall in head first and sink like a rock. After 2 minutes they lose consciousness and after 4 to 6 minutes they will suffer irreversible brain damage. Tragically, 9 out of 10 kids who drown were being watched by an adult according to SafeKids.

So when near the water with a small child:

  • Never take your eyes off of him, even to answer your cell phone.
  • Do not rely on the lifeguard!
  • Don’t allow a babysitter to take your child swimming unless you are sure that he or she will be extremely vigilant and know that she can swim herself.
  • If you are with another adult take turns being the one to watch like a hawk.
  • Understand that even if you know a small child has fallen into a pool, she can be very hard to see. Buy BRIGHTLY colored swim suits.
  • Watch out for those inflatable plastic pools. A child can drown in as little as an inch of water. Always empty it after use.
  • Get your child swimming lessons as soon as he is old enough. By 2 1/2 he can get started with individual lessons by a certified, excellent teacher. It’s well worth the money.
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Ellen and Rachel are two old friends and “expert” mamas—one a pediatrician and one a family therapist—with fifty years of parenting experience between them.

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