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May 26, 2013
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Jayne Gautreau: Stay safe in the water

It was the beginning of summer, and our boys were anxious to go swimming.

We packed up some camping chairs and snacks and went to their favorite swimming spot. As they splashed around and played, we reminded them several times to stay close to the dock.

It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day. We were relaxing and watching the boys play. I had been sharing a story with my husband when, all of a sudden, he jumped up and ran toward the dock without saying anything.

He took off his sunglasses and unloaded his pockets quickly and jumped into the water. I was really confused as to what was going on.

He came back up out of the water with both boys in his arms! The boys were coughing and looked shocked. It all happened so quickly.

Thankfully, my husband saw the signs and knew the boys were both in trouble. The youngest had gone out of his depth and was unable to reach the dock, so instead, he was grabbing onto his big brother and was pushing him under the water.

As a mom, I had no time to panic because I didn’t even know that the boys were in imminent danger!

After we got back home and had time to process the event, I realized just how serious this could have been. I remembered an article I had read the previous summer on drowning.

One of the main things that came to my mind is how drowning does not always look like drowning. My boys had looked like they were playing.

Our family was very fortunate. Drownings can happen very quickly. The boys were within our sight, and I am thankful my husband was alert and aware. Drowning can happen right under our noses, even if we are attentive.

I would encourage taking 5 or 10 minutes to read this article - “Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning” - and familiarize yourself with the signs.

After this incident happened, we bought life jackets for both of our boys. These days, we have them always wear their life jackets even though one of them can swim fairly well. It just isn’t worth the risk. This time of year, life jackets are easy to find at yard sales. Just make sure they fit well for the weight of the child, and that they are in good condition.

I share this story to make you aware that these kinds of situations can happen to any of us. Have a fun and safe summer!

Jayne Gautreau is married with three sons. Read her Mondays on Douglas County Moms.

Our family was very fortunate. Drownings can happen very quickly. The boys were within our sight, and I am thankful my husband was alert and aware. Drowning can happen right under our noses, even if we are attentive.


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The News-Review Updated Nov 18, 2013 07:34PM Published Jun 5, 2013 08:10AM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.