NEAR DROWNING THAT COULD OF HAPPENED TO ANYONE Every month we bring you real life stories from local families we have spoken with about near drowning situations. These will and can happen to anyone. This month we talked to Mandy about lessons learned with daughter, Sarah. From an early age Sarah, like many young children, was naturally inquisitive about water. She loved a bath over a shower every time and Mandy found it hard keeping a constant eye on her around their pool as well as at the beach. Despite Mandy taking many precautions, including dressing Sarah in water wings and having a fence installed around their pool at home, they only narrowly avoided a tragedy. Just after she had turned 6, on a nice summer’s day, Sarah managed to unlock the gate to the pool area and jumped into the shallow end of the pool fully clothed. Normally, Sarah was quite confident in the water when equipped with her water wings, but she had no idea that swimming with her clothes on would require so much more skill and strength than simply swimming in togs. Her clothes quickly became heavy and cumbersome making it extremely difficult for her to keep her head above the water. Luckily, Sarah’s Aunt was looking out the kitchen window at the pool, saw the splashes of Sarah's flailing arms and was able to run out to the pool, dive in and save her. That day Mandy and Sarah evaded a catastrophic situation and learnt a valuable lesson; in some situations the ability to stay afloat is not enough to save your life. If Sarah had been involved in swimming lessons prior to the incident she would have been learnt key water safety lessons including how to kick and paddle to the edge of the pool where she would have been able to call for help. Sarah was lucky to be saved that day thanks to her Aunt who just happened to be looking out the window, however this near disaster highlighted to Mandy, and her family, the importance of swimming lessons. Despite Sarah’s love of the pool and playing in the water she didn’t have the necessary skills to save herself. Since the incident Sarah has been taking part in regular swimming lessons, making her stronger and more capable to swim to survive. Can your child swim to survive?