It’s March and the weather down here in the desert is warming up, which means we’re [thisclose] to swimming pool season. Having grown up in a city full of permanent in-ground swimming pools and having water safety beat into our heads throughout my childhood, I’m well aware that “it takes just a few seconds” for a child to drown.
Bathtub accidents and drowned toddlers who were too curious about incidental collections of water in buckets, etc, are tragic accidents. I worry about the possibility of those accidents to a certain degree, but when it comes to pool safety I am obsessive: There’s always an adult present. Always a phone near the pool. No running on the pool deck. No diving in the shallow end. Sunscreen early and often.
But one of the most interesting–and shockingly common sensical–water safety tips I’ve ever heard as a mother is this: Don’t dress your kids in blue or green swimsuits. Blue/green is the color of swimming pool water. Imagine you look away from the pool party long enough to check your Facebook feed on your smart phone. Junior takes the opportunity to remove his swimmies and then falls silently into the deep end. It might take a few minutes after that to even realize Junior is missing. Fluorescent orange swim trunks could make the difference between “critical condition” and D.O.A. as far as I’m concerned.
I don’t mean to suggest that brightly colored bathing suits would save any significant percentage of drowning victims, or that parents who have experienced such a tragedy are in any way responsible for it if their child happened to be dressed in a blue or green suit. I just mean to suggest that when the stakes are so high, and we’re all about to buy up all the swimsuits that Wal-Mart sells anyway, you might go for the brightly colored suit and leave the marine-hued suits on the rack. Every little bit counts.
Cassandra can be found on Twitter @aclevergirl. Learn more about her family’s unique challenges and why they have hope for a cure for muscular dystrophy at Byrds for a Cure.