I don’t know it well enough… and yesterday I had a stomach-turning reminder of how fast a child could drown. It reminded me of how I need to improve my CPR skills.
I was visiting my older sister and her boys at their house with my 2 year old Julia. They have a rather large kids pool setup and Julia decided she wanted to test it out. So I rolled up my shorts and took her in.
The water was only just past my knees and Julia could stand up easily with the water just above her waist. I held on to her and we waded around enjoying the cool. After a few minutes of wading about, we were standing there and I had taken my hands off of her. I didn’t think much about it, as I was standing right next to her and she was simply standing in the water.
But I turned my head to look up at my older sister who was on her balcony and I started saying something to her. Almost immediately — only a second could have passed — my sister, who was looking at Julia and me in the pool as she stood on the balcony, pointed and said, “She’s Drowning!!!”
I turned my head back to see my precious child starting to sink face first in the water!
I immediately reached down, scooped her up and pulled her out. She started crying like crazy and I wrapped her in a towel and calmed her down. It only took a few minutes to get her settled, but my stomach still hasn’t entirely settled.
It was the most awful image… my baby sprawled face first in the water and sinking like a sack of stones.
It was only a second my head was turned. I hadn’t even turned my body. I was still not even an inch away from her and yet I hadn’t heard single sound.
She must have just toppled forward and started to sink. Her arms flapping were under the water and so they didn’t make any splashing sounds.
Thank the Lord that I was turned talking to my sister who was looking right at us, so that she could immediately tell me Julia had fallen.
But I can’t get past the thought that what if the distraction had been another child and I had turned to talk to them for a minute… I can’t even let myself think about it.
I felt like the most irresponsible mother in the world.
But I imagine that is how every accident happens… in just one second. You turn your eyes from your child in the mall, and he disappears. You turn your eyes from your child in the water, and the unthinkable happens.
It literally makes me sick to think about it. I thank God for the reminder He gave me yesterday and that it was only a reminder.
And it makes me think about how my CPR skills just do not cut it.
I’m constantly frustrated with my lack of ability with CPR and other life saving skills — and I’ve made some attempts to remedy it — but I still doubt I could put it to use when it counted.
You see, before Julia was born, my husband and I took a one-day St. John’s Ambulance course. But I found I was so panicked by the thought that “I can’t do this… I won’t be able to do this…”, that surprisingly I didn’t absorb the information well.
So several months later I decided to order a training video and even the practice mannequins from an online store. But when my video arrived and I put it in my VCR, it immediately ate the tape. My machine had never eaten a tape so I called the company. But they said, they couldn’t help me since it was a problem with my machine. (By the way that machine still has never eaten another tape.)
So the practice mannequins have sat unassembled on my shelves reminding me of my failure to learn the most important life saving skill.
Even as I sit here, I can see the torso of the adult size mannequin laying on the shelf headless.
Enough is clearly enough… I must get this procrastination under control and master CPR!
Can you help me?
How did you learn CPR? (Or are you like me and still not yet there?) Did you take a course? Do you know of any at home training materials — websites, videos, books or DVDs?
I really want to have a video — either online or a DVD — where I can watch it over and over to try to burn it through the cement block I call a brain.