I used to read stories about near drownings (or worse) every summer and think, "I'm so glad that didn't happen to me." Then it did.
I always watched my kids, so I thought I was safe. Then I found my toddler unconscious at the bottom of a hot tub, and I realized just how quickly a child can drown.
I wanted to share this so other parents can learn from what happened to us.
This is our story.
I ran into the ER with mismatched clothes and wet hair.
"My daughter was just brought in. She was in a pool accident," I said.
A pool accident. That's what they'd called it when my friend's little girl drowned a few years earlier. I wondered what it meant at the time but now, I couldn't bring myself to say, "My daughter almost drowned."
We'd celebrated my oldest son's birthday with a pool party. Everyone had a great time and my 2-year-old daughter loved splashing around in the water in her life jacket.
We are careful around water. I thought I knew how quickly an accident could happen.
As we were packing up to leave, I removed her life jacket, wrapped her up in a towel and put her on a deck chair.
"I go hot tub," she said.
"No," I told her. The hot tub was one of her favorite things, but I knew that once she got in, it would take me forever to get her back out again. "It's time to go home now."
I left her sitting on the deck chair as I packed up a few things. We had six adults standing there so I felt like I could relax a bit. After all, what could go wrong with so much supervision?
The truth is, you can never relax when you have kids around the water. Never.
A few minutes later, something jerked me to attention and I looked around for my daughter. She was nowhere to be seen. I scanned the pool first but she wasn't there. The gate was open so I thought she may have wandered out, and I worried about cars. I nearly went there first.