Having a kids pool party? Are you bloody stupid! Girl drowns during birthday song.
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In kindergarten my daughter aged 6 was invited to a party by a classmate. When I read the invitation I was surprised to see that it was a pool party. I was not sure in that moment how I felt about this but quickly decided that my uncertainty was due to a lack of experience in 6 year old parties.
We responded with an acceptance much to the excitement of my daughter but the deal was, I would go with her. I was assured during a phone call there would be lots of adults around supervising and not to worry. On arrival there were lots of adults around the pool area, but there were also lots of kids. Now remember, these are mostly kindergarten kids aged 5 and 6.
Some parents had in fact stayed like myself, but some had chosen to leave. The host joked with me on arrival that one little girls mother had dropped her off, and when asked if she could swim the host was told “yes yes,” but on jumping in the pool sunk like a stone.
I watched those kids like a hawk, in fact so much so I didn’t eat, drink or make eye contact with whoever I was chatting to. Relax you say? Well if I had have relaxed, or heaven forbid not gone with her, my daughter just might not be here.
At the deep end of the pool was a big blow up slide, and down that slide came a child on top of 3 other children. Floatation devices went everywhere and kids including my daughter went to the bottom. New shoes and all I was in that pool.
In June 2014, a 4 year old downed at a pool party when guests turned their attention to sing happy birthday to another child. In January 2015, a 7 year old boy drowned at a pool party because it simply went un-noticed that he got himself into water too deep. I could go on.
I have no doubt, some will read this and argue that accidents happen and we can’t wrap our kids in cotton wool. I agree. But when you take on the responsibility of other people’s children, pool parties are a most understated risk. Drowning is quiet, and while you might be confident with your own child’s ability around water, you will have little idea about the confidence level of other people’s children. 5 and 6 year olds are no-where near confident swimmers, and for many of them, a pool experience may be few and far between.
If you have received a pool party invitation as I have in the last week, YOU MUST GO with your child. Because I can almost guarantee, that no-one will watch your child like you, and this is no-where more important than around water.