Paddling Pool Accident
Victoria had three brothers and a sister, all of whom were at least 5 years older than her. She was spoilt; her parents had recently retired and had all the time in the world to spend on Victoria. For Christmas Victoria's mum Grace bought a blow-up paddling pool for the family, and the gift was an instant hit with everyone including the older children. Victoria being the smallest of the lot, at 5 years old, was new to water and didn't know much about swimming apart from what her dad had told her. So when the pool was inflated and filled up with crystal clear cold water, Victoria was incredibly excited to be the only person in the family who could only touch the floor with their tippy toes.
Confident that she and her other children were watching, Grace let Victoria jump in and splash about. Within the first five minutes, after some serious playing with a soccer ball, Victoria lost her footing on the slippery floor of the pool, sending her into a frantic fuss, splashing and clawing at the water. Grace was right to keep an eye on her child, but in the time it took Grace to run over to the pool and pluck Victoria out by the back of her togs, the ordeal had overcome Victoria. That situation in her own back yard, even though she was rescued, was too much for Victoria who has been frightened of the water ever since.
Grace and Victoria evaded a sticky situation that day and learnt a valuable lesson at the same time, one bad experience can ruin a child’s view on swimming and water for the rest of their lives. If Grace had been involved in swimming lessons before the incident, she would have known how to kick and stay afloat in water above standing depth, and possibly have come out of the pool that day with a smile on her face and no fear on her mind.