We had pool safety rules:
- Protect children by teaching them how to swim.
- Don't let inexperienced swimmers in the water without a life jacket.
But once when my son Drew was in a public pool, his friends didn't realize they were holding him under water too long.
"Mom," he later confided, "I couldn't breathe, and they were laughing and thought it was OK."
So where was I? I was sitting poolside, watching him, unaware that he was fighting to stay alive. I misread my son's panic as merely boyish play.
Since this incident, I no longer allow any games that encourage wrestling while in the water. We've also decided that safety rules should be discussed with all guests before heading to the pool.
Most important, I learned that while supervising pool play, I must be alert. The responsibility does not fall exclusively on the lifeguard.
This article first appeared in the July/August 2010 issue of Thriving Family magazine and was originally titled "Pool Roughhousing." Copyright © 2010 by Diana Mitchell. Used by permission. ThrivingFamily.com.
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