The summer time break revives the soul, gives us time with our families to relax and wash away another year, making way for new and exciting adventures in the New Year ahead.
Last year we enjoyed a fabulous summer holiday apart from an unnerving scenario that brought back memories of a potentially devastating situation our family might have been confronted with many years ago. I watched in horror as parents of babies and young toddlers popped their kids into water inflatables in the shapes of speed boats, racing cars and the occasional princess floatable in the communal swimming pool.
The problem is, these types of supposed cute water floatables ARE NOT intended as water safety devices, and in fact can be deadly.
Almost 10 years ago we popped our youngest daughter at 10 months of age in one of these cute floatables in the design of a speed boat complete with steering wheel and leg holes to sail around the pool. My mother’s pool is very narrow in shape but long, as our daughter floated around the shallow end of the pool, our eldest daughter eagerly displayed her ability to swim between the narrow sides of the pool as a new swimming lesson recruit.
My husband and I turned our heads away for less than ten seconds from our floating speed boat driver who was only a metre away from us. We never heard a splash, a sound, a call or a slight rippling of water, but on turning around only moments later, we saw our baby submerged under the water with legs flailing in the air kicking back and forwards caught in the leg holes of her capsized speed boat.
Within a split second we turned the boat over and thankfully our daughter was alive, well, and calm without any idea of the terror and deadly potential we instantly envisaged. Clearly, it is a memory and a sense of panic I will never forget and so, I urge all parents this summer to discard, or never consider buying or using similar floatables – these are silent killers, and as cute as they may look, they are a potentially dark and silent assassins disguised as water toy.