It happens every summer. Every damn summer.
The weather turns warm and kids drown. They die in the ocean, backyard pools, in rivers and estuaries.
Take your eyes off a child for a minute and the unimaginable happens. Drowning is the second most common cause of death in children after car accidents.
No family is immune. Last June, Olympic gold medalist skier Bode Miller lost his 19-month old daughter, Emmy, when she slipped away from friends and family and drowned in a neighbor’s pool.
It happened so fast, they said. One minute she was there, the next she was gone.
A familiar story.
So far this June there have been two tragedies involving kids and water in Virginia Beach. Two families devastated.
On June 14th, a child described by police as “younger than 10” drowned in the canal behind Meer Street at the Beach.
On Monday, a 3-year-old girl drowned in a swimming pool.
The grief and guilt for their families must be overwhelming.
For that reason, I’m taking a day off from politics and general ranting to urge everyone to be vigilant. We live in a lovely region called Tidewater. Water everywhere. When you think about it, it’s surprising there aren’t more accidents.
Please read this article that first was printed several years ago in Soundings.
The point of the piece? Death comes quickly and silently to drowning victims.
Be alert. Stay safe. Teach your kids to swim.