An Ice Chest and an 18 month old

This week I have specifically commited myself to blog about drownings, due to the one fact that it happens quite frequently and by using common sense and vigilance, most drownings should never have occured.  This next tragedy took place in September of 2008, and is by far one of the most disturbing instances of a drowning I have ever read about.  When we think about these accidents, we assume they take place in large bodies of water, such as lakes, swimming pools, the ocean and rivers.  But every now and then the headlines in our morning paper take us directly into the family home, where a child is found to have drowned in the process of their evening bath.  It's hard to rationalize that children can drown in such shallow water.  After all, when their face goes under water, and they aren't receiving air, isn't it instinctive to raise ones head out for air?  Well, I have learned through reading the facts and statistics, that it does in fact make sense.  However, I must also admit, I myself have left my child unattended in the bath tub for just one moment to answer the phone, the door or to grab a magazine to read while my child was playing with her toys in the tub...that was before I learned the facts!

"In Tucson, Arizona on a Tuesday in September, an eighteen month old boy died when he fell head first into a small cooler filled with ice and water while his father slept. This toddler was found just before noon, when his father awoke and went looking for him.  The police concluded that the child wasn't able to get out of the 18 inch square beer cooler. The father works nights and the grandmother usually watches the boy while the father sleeps.  Unfortunately on this particular morning the father had taken the grandmother to the airport, came home and fell asleep, with no one on hand to supervise the young child.  The father immediately began lifesaving efforts, even calling out to passers-by for assistance."

That poor young man. Let's face it, when we're tired we need sleep. He was juggling his job and caring for an energetic toddler. I just wish for the sake of both father and son, that he had a back up plan in place for the times that the grandmother wasn't available.  Beyond that, I wish he had just taken the few moments to have emptied the cooler and put it away.  I do not judge this person.  I know all too well how quickly and easily a young child can find danger in the words of water.  Hindsight is a word we all know, and have referred to on our journey through this life of ours. After all, in hindsight is equivalent to a lesson we have learned through a mistake in our past.

Since I read about this horrific tragedy, I immediately found myself consumed with a new mission:  To find an 18 inch ice chest to give a visual lesson to my water safety & rescue students.  They couldn't believe that a child could drown in such a small container of water. To learn through someone else's pain, somehow makes the loss not be in vain.

Please log on to my website at: for your copy of Water Safe!  Water Smart!  Staying alive under five and then some. Not only will you experience the near drowning of my own son through my eyes and emotions, but will learn new ways to recognize an individual in trouble in the water, and how to best aid that person without becoming a victim yourself.

Wishing you all a wonderful day, and the vigilance to keep your own children safe!

-Linda Brown


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