Who has lost track of your child for a minute? A few minutes? Come on, I know I’m not the only one who has had that shot of pure panic at Target when one kid was begging for a toy and the other decided to play hide-and-seek under the clothing racks. Or how about at the airport when you are scanning the carousel for your luggage and suddenly realized your kids aren’t right next to you? At the playground? In a museum? The zoo? The list is endless but fortunately in most of those places, you and your child will be safely reunited within seconds, or at least in a few minutes with the help of police/store intercom/helpful strangers.
Unfortunately, there are the worst cases - where your child’s life is in danger because you lost track of them for a few precious minutes. We hear terrifying stories of abductions that make us more vigilant, but do you know the most dangerous place to lose track of your child? Near water. A new study by Ruth Brenner in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, emphasizes once again that increased supervision of children while around water is needed to prevent drowning - a leading cause of injury-related death in children. I love the water. My kids love the water. Our best time spent together often involves being in or around water - pools, ocean, lakes, Chicago’s Millenium Fountain - but I know that is also one place where I can’t afford to lose track of them for even 2 minutes. I’ll teach my kids water safety, I’ll make sure they are strong swimmers, I’m certified in CPR - but part of water safety is knowing that I need to watch them, constantly.