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Silent Danger - A Grandmother's Story

Silent Danger - A Grandmother's Story

One afternoon I was backing my car out of our garage while our three-year-old grandson was playing in the yard with my husband.

As I eased out of the garage I heard loud yelling from my husband from the corner of the house. I stopped the car immediately, not knowing what the problem was. He ran over and scooped up our grandson and his tricycle from behind my car.

I sat paralyzed in shock at the thought that I almost caused a horrific, irreversible accident. I let my mind zoom ahead to what the scene could have been had my husband not intervened. And I thanked God that my grandson was uninjured.

It turns out, my grandson sat silently on his tricycle, allowing the back bumper of my car to slowly push him over. He never made a sound in his own defense. He was saved only by a supervising grandfather who made enough noise to avert the tragedy.

As a water safety promoter, this near accident seemed eerily familiar to me. Children who drown are also silent. They drown without a sound.

It seems that we parents and grandparents rely way too much on listening to protect our very young. We listen for crashes and bangs as they play in the next room. We listen for them to cry out when they're hurt.

But, the only safe supervision around water...and cars...is visual supervision.

We are approaching the most dangerous months of the year for preschoolers around water - June, July, and August. This summer we need to keep our eyes continuously on children near the water.

And as for me, I also upgraded my car with a back-up camera!

This story told by Jan Emler, Owner of Emler Swim School.


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