My baby boy almost drowned and it was all my fault.

As I ran towards the pool all I could see was my baby, head down, arms thrashing about trying to save his own life.

I had taken my eyes off him for not more than 10 seconds to check on the whereabouts of his siblings.

But it was long enough for him to fall in to the pool and almost drown 🙁

Thankfully a woman in the pool yelled at me “is that your boy?”

I’m not quite sure why she didn’t just swim to rescue him instead of seeing who he belonged to, but she didn’t.

I leaped in to the pool fully clothed and plucked his tiny, fragile two-year-old body out of the water.

He was coughing, choking, crying, and confused.

But thankfully he was conscious.

I held him so tight in my arms and whispered gently in his ear: “mummy is here, I love you” and he said: “pool, head, water”.

He was so tired from his big day of playing and swimming that he fell asleep very quickly after the 'event'.

He was so tired from his big day of playing and swimming that he fell asleep very quickly after the ‘event’.

My heart sank and fractured a wee bit because I knew that I had almost let my son drown.

That night when I put him to bed I had a niggling feeling that something wasn’t right.

A few minutes after I left his bedroom, I came back and gingerly lifted him from his pillow and put him on mine, so I could keep a watchful eye on him.

Just a few hours later he started to get hot, really hot, and his breathing became laboured and alarms bells were ringing.

I couldn’t get that horrible, heavy pang of worry out of my heart, so I called 13 Health and after a few questions they suggested we see a doctor ASAP.

He told me what I was already thinking, that my baby might have a ‘dry-drowning incident’ depending on how much water he had choked back.

The scary thing was, because I didn’t see him fall in the pool, I didn’t know how long he was under the water for.

Within 30 minutes of arriving at the newly opened Gold Coast University Hospital, my baby had an x-ray and they found fluid in his lungs.

Such a legend, this was about midnight, I thankfully remembered to bring some milk, the iPad and his 'nigh nigh' snuggly blanket!

Such a legend, this was about midnight, I thankfully remembered to bring some milk, the iPad and his blue ‘nigh nigh’ snuggly blanket!

All night I felt like the world’s worst mum, because I had to keep retelling the story of what happened and admit that I did not see my son fall in to the pool 🙁

BUT – I’m so grateful that I listened to my heart that night and drove us to the hospital.

We stayed overnight and were heavily monitored.

I didn’t sleep a wink, but that’s probably because I was listening to my son’s every breath to make sure it wasn’t his last.

Aside from some major coughing, high temps and irritability throughout the night – we were given the all clear to go home the next morning and were warned to be wary.

I am so grateful that this was as bad as it got for us, so many parents have lost a child as a result of a drowning event.

According to the Royal Life Saving Australia:

1. In past 10 years 330 kids under the age of five have drowned in Australia.

2. Almost 165 of these have died in a home swimming pool.

3. Sadly, 78 per cent of home pool drowning deaths are children aged two or younger.

4. Kids can drown in seconds and often the drowning may be silent with no or little splashing.

5. For every drowning death there are about three hospitalisations, with up to two of the hospitalised children suffering a permanent brain injury.

So I ask myself, what if that woman had not been in the pool and seen my son struggling for life?

From happy to hospital in less than 12 hours :(

From happy to hospital in less than 12 hours 🙁

How long would it have taken me to figure out that one of my three angels were missing?

I know I can’t live in ‘what if’ land – but I sure as hell can live in ‘never again’ land.

It takes just a few seconds for a child to get in to trouble in the water, whether it’s the pool, bathtub, bucket or a blow-up paddling pool.

You won’t hear them scream, beg for help or cry, they will most likely die silently and sadly.

Please remember that it only takes a little distraction or a few seconds of inattention for a tragedy to happen.

In a strange way I am glad this happened to me, because I will never take my eyes off my children in, near or around water EVER AGAIN!

Have you had any near misses in or around water?
Would you have swam to save my son before yelling out to me?
Do you think we are too trusting of our kids sometimes?


  1. I have a few personal experiences with this type of situation. It’s the most terrible feeling and I’m sorry you had to experience it.
    Coincidently, today I renewed my first aid certificate. Just attending has given me confidence that I will at least know something in the event of an emergency with my two kids at home and my hundreds of kids at school. Totally recommend it.
    We all take our eyes off our kids, hun. You did good taking him to the hospital. X

  2. wow, sorry to hear that. I’m glad to know he’s well. I do not know how to swim and i’ve had about a couple of instances where i nearly drowned – all after i reached the age 20+. they weren’t easy to forget and only made me scare water more 🙁

    as he’s such a young boy still i know you have all the time to teach him swimming lesson and you should, for his survival. hopefully he learns it and you wont have to worry too much.

    even though it wasn’t a good day, don’t forget to be happy (like you normally are) and be grateful still that you are blessed to have him alive 🙂


  3. awww Em I was there with you every step as I read this. I worked as a swimming instructor for over 5 years and could not tell you how many times I saw this happen. Kids would finish their lesson I would hand them to mum or dad and within seconds they could be under water in the next pool…. drowning is quick and silent. I’m glad that this has made you more aware but don’t be too hard on yourself accidents happen. Sending you big hugs and big love, Rach xx

  4. Oh wow Em, so glad that it ended well and thank you for sharing. This was actually the second post I had seen tonight on a near drowning. Thanks for the reminder you can never be too vigilant.

  5. My God, you have been through the mill lately. You must be completely exhausted with all of the stress of late. A similar thing, but not as bad, happened when my hubby was watching our eldest at south bank. Turned his head and next thing she is floating face down. Thanks for the reminder of how quickly things can happen. Hugs again x

  6. Oh hun, what a scary experience. My brother had a similar experience when he was 2. He wasn’t watching where he was going and walked straight into the pool. He dropped like a rock to the bottom, thankfully it was in the midst of swimming training so one of the trainers saw him go in. He didn’t take any water in but was petrified of the water for a long time afterwards. He’s a perfectly fine (if not a big pain in the arse) 14 year old now.

    Don’t beat yourself up about it. It was a split second in time, and it worked out ok. Sending you love and hugs xx

  7. I would’ve been in the pool. We had Mikala take her floaties off while I was getting her cousin out of the pool and wrapped in a towel. No more than 10 seconds and she was standing looking at me from the bottom of the pool. Luckily not long enough to be hurt other than by me yanking her arm out of the pool. It took another year for her to even leave the step in the pool.

    We put a pool in this year and it terrifies me. Not that I would leave them unattended but that getting a towel or making a sibling feel better can be all it takes for them to be in the water.

    So pleased to hear it turned out all right.

  8. Oh my gosh, how scary, and here I thought you were using a Tabloid-style Headline to grab my attention for a post that was going to be more funny than frightening – but how wrong I was. I will never forget the feeling of sheer horror of finding our young daughter almost asleep in the bath one day – i couldn’t see if her mouth was above or below the water surface but when she didn’t move or answer me when i spoke her name I freaked and yanked her up so fast only to be greeted by a stunned look of ‘what was that for’ when it turned out she was just having a relax. Still, the feelings of guilt of having left her unattended for that short time and the what-ifs still haunt me from time to time now. What a terrible day for you but take heart that you may very well save a life from this blog as there may be people out there like myself who did not know about the dry drowning thing and may watch more closely in future. A mother’s instinct should never be doubted. Hold him and all of your little chil’luns a little tighter for a little longer tonight. xx

  9. OMG you must still be in shock, I think I would be. I was holding my breath as I read your post.
    I am sorry but I cannot believe that woman didn’t go straight to your child. My instincts would have kicked in to get to the child first.
    This is a fantastic reminder to all of us that it can happen in a few seconds.

  10. Em, you poor thing, that is the most terrifying story, you are right, you are so lucky. I can tell you now, if I was that woman I wouldn’t have thought twice before swimming to get the kid! doesn’t matter whose it is, if a child is in distress you stop and help. I am terrified of something like this happening to Punky. She loves the water so much and I am always super vigilant when we are anywhere near water. I think Dave’s family think I’m stupidly up there and I am always asking where she is if the person she was with comes back in to my sight without her. They live on a property with an untended damn and they don’t seem to be quite as worried about the possibility of her getting out and down there. She is a little ninja and I know it wouldn’t take much for her to slip away and be drowning in moments. So I don’t care what they think, I will continue to be paranoid, it might be the difference between her living and dying.

    I am so glad your little one is ok and there wasn’t any lasting complications. I am sending you big hugs mama and praying that things can calm down a little for you, this is all too much for one person to have to deal with. Xxxxx

  11. Actually Em, you saved his life when you went back into his room when you knew something wasn’t right. If you hadn’t kept an eye on him overnight, I dread to think what would have happened. Even if he was swimming & drank too much water, then he could have had fluid in his lungs . Don’t beat yourself up, he is still with you and you get to lecture us on water safety!! Your little man is obviously meant to be here for a reason. Our new house has a pool too so this is a good reminder. Xxx

  12. When I was 10 and babysitting a cousin with my other (older) cousins our 18 month old cousin drowned. He was down for a nap, but he got up, busted the screen to outside and that was that. 20 years later and I still blame myself. It’s a horrible feeling and I wasn’t even his mother. I’m sorry you had to go through this, but thank God he’s alive and here with you still. I am SUPER careful watching kids around water – it freaks me out.

  13. WTF when and where did this happen? Thank God he is ok and for your instincts that night. It doesn’t take long around pools. So scary.

  14. Powerful message Em. Never heard about dry drowning. Will share your story as it’s so crucial now summer is approaching. So so relieved your precious little man is safe. They move so quickly don’t they? Thanks for sharing such an important and moving story x

  15. Oh Em, my heart was in my throat here – such a very strong message about how mere seconds can make such a difference …. and just how this can SO easily happen to anyone. Your little lad’s a champ and I’m relieved the story had a happy ending. Little Miss 3 is intrigued by water but lacks experience with it – time for safety lessons xx

  16. OH MY GOD! I was in tears by the end of this post. Admittedly you got me at a vulnerable time (end of the day tiredness) but I just hate to think… I’m so glad that you had this outcome. That that person, however strange they didn’t rush in to get him out, that they were there to shout out to you and also that you trusted your gut at home and knew about dry drowning. So many wouldn’t. The whole thing sounds terrifying.
    If I was that woman I would definitely be flapping about in that water for a life. No matter who’s it was.
    Thank you for this post and for reminding me how vulnerable little people are around water. I have a few friends with pools which we visit over summer and I will be extra vigilant now. xxx

  17. That is horrific Em, I’m so glad you are all safe and sound now. I think your post is a timely reminder now that the weather (in the south) is getting warmer. I feel like I need eyes in the back of my head just to keep an eye on two, so don’t beat yourself up, you are doing an amazing job with your three. I had that horrible feeling last weekend, one of my boys decided to leave my side and walk around to the driver’s side of the car to where my husband was unlocking it, just as two cars hooned right past us. I just about threw-up in shock of what might have just happened. Getting in and out of the car is such and everyday event, it terrifies me. Thanks for the message. xx

  18. I had goosebumps reading this Em. So pleased to hear your little guy is ok. Good on you for trusting your motherly instincts and taking him to the hospital. I’d not heard of “dry drowning” before so will be mindful of this. We are hearing a lot about drownings on the Melbourne news at the moment and we are spending lots of time at the beach with the kids. Thanks for sharing and big hugs xox

  19. That is terrifying Em!! I am so glad he is going to be OK. You will never get that image of seeing your boy face down on the pool out of your head. I’m looking at my little boy now and I hate the thought of losing something so precious. You have given me a wake up call because when I bathed my boy I left the room yesterday and rushed to grab his towel. I was out of the room for 5 seconds, and thought nothing could happen in that time. But it can!!!!! I will never take my eyes off him around water ever again. As you said, it can take seconds!! Scary!!

    Love to you and your little boy xxxx

  20. I have real issues with water- I hate pool parties and always stay and supervise (whether they want me to or not). You only get one chance with water. I’ve had to jump in fully clothed for someone elses kid (at an unsupervised pool party – I was the only adult outside watching!) and my own son used to jump in fully clothed and think it was HILARIOUS, even if he was spewing out water. I’ve also grabbed a very embarrassed random 10 year old who was doing that ‘pretending to have drowned float’ – I grabbed him by his pants, so we both got a shock when we realised what was going on….
    You saved your son. Remember that.

  21. At Christmas, this little kid almost drowned in a pool that had 4 adults in it with their own children (but their eyes were on their own learning to swim tots) and about 3 adults sitting on the edge of the pool. Fortunately my partner saw it and told his cousin to grab the kid that was drowning silently next to him. It’s amazing how quickly and quietly it happens. (the mother of this kid that couldn’t swim wasn’t even watching??)

  22. Oh Em, you are so lucky that you got him out of that pool and it turned out for the best. Thankyou for this reminder and telling your story xxx

  23. Glad he is okay! What a terrifying experience.
    Do you have infant swimming resource in your area? its such a great program for kids. I wish we have them here.

  24. Thanks for sharing. You poor thing. You poor things!

    You saved him. Well done you. No what ifs.

    (And I would like to assure you that had I seen it happen, I would have swum to him/jumped in to get him/WHATEVER IT TOOK rather than simply asking you if it was your son! WTF?)

  25. How terrifying Em! I didn’t even know dry drowning happened – thanks for sharing, lovely. I’m sure it wasn’t an easy post to write. xx

  26. Em – you poor thing. What a horrible experience. Things do happen so quickly, it is truly scary. Thank God you acted on instinct during the night – I hadn’t thought of ‘dry drowning’ – surprising if you were in a public pool for a lifeguard to not warn you of the dangers. Take care of yourself and don’t be too hard on yourself.

  27. How terrifying, Emily. I feel sick just thinking about it, because I can imagine the fear and anguish you went through – and are probably still going through. I CANNOT BELIEVE that someone took the seconds to say “is that your son” rather than jump in! That is very unsettling. I would not hesitate to jump in after any child. We have a daughter who is a runner, and for that reason I feel like, unless we are home and she is safe, I cant take my eyes off her. Just this week she leaped into the pool at swim class and my husband had to jump in after her fully clothed. I’m so glad that your son is alright. you poor thing having to go through that. xx

  28. Oh Em, I am so glad he is ok and I’m sorry you got to see our new hospital under these circumstances! I am super paranoid about water, especially pools. I have a relative with an unfenced pool and we stopped visiting there (as well as not letting them babysit at their house). They were just too blasé about it and although it wasn’t illegal (because it was installed many years ago), I still think it is irresponsible. What if a kid wandered into their yard?

    Anyway, because our two are so small (18 months and nearly 3), we only swim when hubby and I can have one each and keep them in arms reach at all times. Once we have finished we leave the pool area straight away.

    I have heard the most dangerous situation is a BBQ or pool party where everyone thinks someone else is watching the kids. Lots of near drowning a happen this way.

    My Mum has a pool and to even visit there I insisted on a pool alarm, secure fencing and all objects removed (including chairs) so they have nothing to climb over. The doors to outside are all locked and internal doors have door covers. Might sound pedantic, but better to be safe than sorry I think.

    Sending you hugs xx

  29. So terrifying. I am absolutely paranoid about pools and kids. I actually worry about it CONSTANTLY to the point that I would choose not to live in a house with a pool while I have little kids. I am a worrier, that is for sure! I am sorry this happened to you. Hope you are feeling ok and that the little man is too xxxxx

  30. Bloody hell hun that would have been terrifying. I must admit I have let one of my boys fall in unnoticed when he was 3 for all of about 5 seconds – but it was enough to make me over the top cautious. I am so relieved for you that your boy was ok and thank heavens for your intuition. A great message to head into summer with so thank you for sharing lovely xx

  31. Oh Em – what an awful experience for you and your family to go through. Thank goodness for your instincts and going to the hospital when you realised all was not right.
    Unfortunately, accidents happen so quickly and yes, sometimes we need a near miss to make us more vigilant.
    I hope that you are both OK today and that you have a great weekend !

  32. I’m so sorry to hear this Em! I’d definitely have swam over to save your kid or any other person’s instead of just checking whose kid it is but it might be because I’m comfortable with swimming and have learnt life-saving before. The other lady might have been in shock too?

    Anyway glad all is good and he’s safe now. It’s hard keeping an eye on just one for me, much less 3 for you but I think you’re doing a brilliant job. You even managed to bring his fave things along to the hospital despite the night panic! Big hugs dear.. and thanks for reminding us parents to not get so complacent about our kids’ independence too.

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

  33. I’m paranoid about kids and pools – and particularly when they’re in there en masse. Parties and BBQs were all the adults are drinking and relaxed scare me the most and make me super-vigilant. How horrific for you. And thank you for sharing – I had no idea about dry drowning. I thought the effects were immediate, or not at all, so you’ve educated lots of us today. So glad your boy is ok. ANd don’t beat yourself up. You were being a super mum, trying to be everywhere at once. Beat that other woman up! Of COURSE you grab any kid who’s in distress, whether its yours or someone else’s!!! xx

  34. This brought tears to my eyes just imagining what a terrifying ordeal you’ve been through. It’s wonderful that your story has a happy ending. Thanks for the timely reminder. We have just had Dora assessed to start up swimming lessons again. Such scary statistics you’ve mentioned there.

  35. Oh how scary Em. It is amazing how quickly – and silently! – they can get into trouble in a pool. Miss 16 fell into my sister’s pool when she was about 2, so I know what I’m talking about. Fortunately my B-I-L saw and dived in, fully clothed, to rescue her. My hero! I’ve never heard of dry drowning before though!

  36. So so scary Em. I have heard about dry drowning too. So glad your cherub is ok.
    A reminder for everyone to be vigilant around water. I saw a little girl struggling to get her face out of thigh deep water (at the ramp in a pool) her Dad was talking a few metres away- we both saw at the same time and he plucked her out.

  37. Oh God how scary for you and your family Em. It can so happen so easily, so quickly and so quietly. All our girls had swimming lessons from 6 months and are confident but careful in the water. Even now that the youngest are 8 and 5 I still watch them, but admit I can be easily distracted. Thanks for the reminder in time for summer. Take care xx

  38. Oh Em – how awful for you! This brought back a memory of a similar thing that happened with me when my kids were little. I’ve never forgotten it. In fact, to this day it still sometimes haunts my dreams. I remember it was a stinking hot day. We lived in a little hot box back then, no pool. My twin boys were somewhere between 2 1/2 and 3 and my daughter was a crawling baby. We went to the public pool which had the main BIG pool and a wading pool for littlies. We went to the wading pool. It was not deep. In fact it didn’t come past the boys waists – probably more shallow than that actually! I had the baby on a rug under the shade of a tree nearby. I stood midway between the wading pool and my baby under the tree, keeping an eye on both. The boys were just walking around and around the edge of the wading pool making a whirlpirl. They were holding on to the edge. The baby kept crawling off and I kept having to retrieve her. I decided to sit under the tree with her. It was close to the pool and I could see the boys, except when they came to the edge closest to me but as they were walking round and round that was only for short periods. I relaxed a bit. Then I heard Twin2 laughing saying “hahaha twin1 is swimming”. I jumped up and ran over – Twin1 was face down in the water on the side nearest to me where I couldn’t see. Just floating there. I scooped him out and he begun to cry. I was horrified, panicked, traumatised, guilt ridden … !! I towelled him dry, lay him on his side, terrified. Lucky for me – he was ok. I got Twin2 out of the pool, packed up and left. I was too traumatised to stay any longer. I know how you’re feeling. Don’t beat yourself up. These things happen in split instants. Thankfully he is ok. Big hugs! xoxo

  39. Oh my god, Emily, thank god he is okay!! This is my worst nightmare and I am so, so glad he is okay. And you are. And your other babes are too. I know you must feel awful, especially reliving it over and over at the hospital, but these things happen, these near misses. We can’t physically strap our kids to us at all time (I know I probably would).

    At Easter, we stayed at the beach and one afternoon, I was paddling in the creek, holding my three year old with one hand, as she was splashing around, and I saw, without really noticing, a toddler running towards the water near us. His parents were distracted talking to each other. And as he splashed into the water, I reached out to him slowly. At the same time, his dad noticed he’d disappeared and came sprinting after him. The boy probably would have gone under once before I fished him out but his dad got there first.

    My point is, don’t be too hard on that other woman. Sometimes you just don’t react as quickly as you should. I’m sure she probably feels terrible she didn’t do more to help.

    Big, big hugs xx

  40. Gosh Em, my heart was racing as I read this post. I’ve even got goosebumps. But I’m so glad you posted about it and it proves that you can be a vigilant mum but it takes seconds for something like this to happen. I haven’t even heard of dry drowning either. Your instincts were right and you are a great mum. Don’t feel guilty. Just feel blessed that you have your son and he has lived so you can tell the tale. Love ya gorgeous. Now, can something freaking amazing happen to you now? What with your dad and this post, I’m sending some good vibes your way. xo

  41. Oh Em, that is terrifying! I didn’t even know it could be an issue hours after? I was just thinking the other day I really need to be more vigilant with my kids. Ava has been scared of the water for so long, but now she is fighting that fear and I need to make sure she has some swimming skills quick fast.
    So glad he was ok x

  42. Hey Em, I’m so sorry that you and your little man had to go through such a traumatic experience but good on you for trusting your instincts, just goes to show what an AWESOME mum you are. Thanks for being brave enough to share. xx

  43. This is so scary Em… I had goose bumps reading your post. Thank God you went back that night to check on him. Thanks for sharing this post too now that the summer is on its way.

  44. Oh Em, TEARS!!!! This happens so easily. When Bell was little, we were at a beach with a whole lot of kids and little girl started struggling and held Bell under. It happens so quickly but also in slow motion! Just thank goodness you were right there, and onto it.
    I have heard about dry drowning, but not nearly enough in the media. It’s a scary thought all right.
    As hard as it is honey, try not to keep playing it over in your mind, you’ll drive yourself nuts!
    Your little man is a trooper, and I bet the new hospital was all fresh?
    I’m sending you big hugs Em, about time some good stuff came your way.
    Take care gorgeous girl xxx

  45. EM! That’s so frightening. You poor thing. so pleased you have told your story so that others can truly understand just how quickly it can happen, but also that drowning can take place many hours after the event. This post is valuable. It must have been hard to write, but thanks for sharing.

  46. What a frightening experience for you and for your beautiful boy Em. Thanks for sharing this story. I had not heard of dry drowning before and I would not have known to seek help when you did. You are a fabulous mum, never forget that!

  47. Thank goodness he is ok Em, my heart was in my mouth reading this. I have never heard of dry drowning before thanks for sharing the post and making us aware it must have been hard to re live it. I know it is so easy to say but don’t beat yourself up over it, the important thing is that he is ok and you spotted that something else wasn’t right afterwards.
    Big hugs and I hope you and the little one have recovered now. xXx

  48. Oh My darling girl, I feel awful for you and your little angel!

    But you must not blame yourself, it was an accident and it’s is shocking how fast these things happen.

    I had a similar incident with Victoria when she was 2, she was splashing around in the shallow pool, I was watching her & chatting to a friend, when one of her arm bands slipped off. My friend went mute, but started grabbing me frantically, all I could see was her slipping under the water time and time again as the people inches away from her just stared dumbfounded.

    I ran the few metres to the pool, although it felt like a mile, jumped in screaming for help and grabbed her spluttering from the water – I’ll never forget it.

    Bloody horrific.

    You saved your baby x that is all x

  49. Oh Emily! My heart goes out to you and your little boy! What a horrible experience! I am so glad you are all safe and well. Sending lots of love to you guys xox

  50. Oh how scary, I have nightmares about my kids drowning, especially because we live so close to the beach and the canals! Eeeek! I almost drowned when I was a kid, just fell in silently when my Dad was working around the pool, it can happen to anyone and so fast! I’m so glad it wasn’t any worse! x Karen

  51. Thank you for writing about this, it is very sobering and good on ya for following your instincts and watching over him. He’s very lucky to have a great mama xx

  52. Oh, Em! Big, big hugs! How awful for you and your little man! Thank goodness he’s okay! I’ve never ever heard of dry drowning but wow! Talk about motherly instincts going into overdrive! Good on you for taking such quick action. Hope your little guy is recovering well. And you, my dear. Take care of you xxx

  53. Omg Emily, I’m only just catching up on this week’s posts, how terrifying. I reckon my heart stops for a second at least once a week when one of the kids jumps off something, steps onto the road, gets a random fever – it’s never ending is it? But this experience is one of the worst. Just thank the universe he was OK in the end. I just hope his mum is ok too! Don’t beat yourself up about it – just hug him lots and lots! x

  54. Scary stuff, Emily. This is one of my worst fears. In fact, yesterday we were at a pool party and I purposely didn’t bring swimmers for my two youngest ones because I didn’t want them playing in the pool area – there were going to be heaps of kids there I didn’t think I’d be able to manage watching them. They played on the swings and trampoline while my eldest mucked around in the pool with her friends.

    I’m so happy that your baby is okay now. Don’t beat yourself up about it, though. You weren’t looking away to order a g&t, you were watching your other kids. (I hope you had a g&t later though – you know, to calm the nerves).

    Much love to you, you’ve had a rough run lately, hope things pick up for you soon xx

  55. oh babe. So fucking frightening for you. No words can describe it. Love to you.

  56. Oh you poor darling – I feel for you! What an awful nightmare. I’ve never heard of dry-drowning before, thank you for the information. Thank god everyone is alright. Wouldn’t it be great if we really did have eyes in the back of our heads and eight arms!! xx

  57. I pray with each of mine to their guardian angels EVERY night.
    Thanks be to God, your little man is on the mend. And to you, don’t feel guilty, we’ve all had a near miss x

  58. Oh my goodness. This must have been so scary for you. I can’t even imagine. How lucky you are that your little boy was ok. Gosh I feel for you! It makes you appreciate all of the good things in life doesn’t it. Someone must have been looking down on you guys that day. xxx Lucy

  59. Thank goodness you were around to pull him out!

    I lost a cousin to drowning in San Francisco. He was 18 yrs. old when he died.
    My father as a 10 yr. old boy saw a little boy fall overboard from a houseboat in China and drown.

    And a good friend, lost her sister to tragic drowning when a riptide wave struck her as she walked along a beach in Alcapulco. She was 19 yrs. She didn’t how to swim..

  60. Oh my god Em, I am so glad everything worked out OK! I can’t imagine what you went through…so scary. xx

  61. Oh, Emily! Phew! My younger brother (who’s 24 now) had a near drowning incident too when he was 5. He went showing me a trick in the baby pool and I was watching but I didn’t realise he was slipped and was struggling to stand back up until my dad quickly hopped in and pulled him out. I can’t really remember what happened, I don’t think he lost consciousness but then I kind of remember the lifeguard had him on the ground probably trying to pump water out of his chest or something. He had to stay in hospital for a few days but other than that, he was thankfully alright.

    I can feel your anxiety and fear as a mother and I just shudder at the thought. Really, really, really thankful that you little bubby boy is ok though. Please don’t blame yourself. We as parents only have the best intentions for our children. You were only trying to check on your other kids for a few seconds. It was an unforeseeable incident 🙁 anyhow, just so glad your boy is ok xx

  62. Oh my lovely. This would have scared the freakn’ crap out of me. Nothing I can say will make you feel better… I know. But you know you are a great Mum. And well done for trusting your gut that night! So very scary indeed. Lots of love to you xx

  63. Oh em I missed this. What a terrifying experience. So glad he is ok and that you went to hospital xx

  64. Oh, how scary for you! So glad you were able to listen to your Mama instinct and get him to hospital. I’ve been at a nearby lagoon where 2 little kids have had a near drowning. It can happen so quickly. Glad your little man is ok.

  65. How terrifying. Dry drowning scares me. You think the ordeal is over… Thank goodness for the happy ending. This could so happily happen to any mother- it’s good you’ve shared your story to remind us all of the importance of being vigilant. We have a pool- and to date, I haven’t worried, as it’s gated and above ground. But now I’ll be just that little bit more cautious.

  66. Oh my goodness Em, that must have been terrifying. I won’t take my kids to the pool at the same time unless I have another adult with me. I see lots of mums doing it, especially when they are in the pool with their baby for a water baby class, and their older child is in another class with a teacher. But personally, I won’t. It’s just too risky, because we can only look in one direction at a time. I have a hard enough time leaving my 3.5 year old in the bath unattended, and I end up sitting on the loo lid playing Candy Crush. 🙂

  67. this breaks my heart – I can’t bear to think of it. And it can happen so quickly as you say! Thank god that lady at least spoke up even if she didn’t move – and I can tell you right now I would have jumped in there clothes and all. But then, I’m of the opinion that it takes a village to raise a child and that makes every child our child to a certain extent.

  68. Thank you so much for this post. I found it in a google search hoping to find someone with a similar story. It’s almost identical to mine. July 2012 my then 3 yr old daughter. Almost exact same situation. Some days like this I am haunted by it again, which is why i was looking for something to make me feel better. I too tell myself that this happened for a reason and now Know to NEVER blink.

    • Oh Andrea I’m so glad you found this and realised that you are not the only person who has had this happened to them. It sure is a hard lesson to learn but like you say a valuable one! Thanks for stopping by, Emily

  69. I saved my 2 year old yesterday….I was mowing my lawn and ever so often watching my son following his 4 year old cousin. The cousin then came to me and didn’t see my son. I looked at the pool and saw him head down in the pool. I ran so fast, jumped in, and picked him up in the deep end. His eyes were open but no response. I said to myself this couldn’t be happening and said breathe now but unsure if I said that out loud. I placed him genly on his side…I got out and saw that his leg was moving ever so slightly. I saw him breathing and thank God for that. We wrapped him up and I had nightmares that night. I took him to the doctor today and he is fine. Worse feeling in the world is seeing your son in a “dead state.” It is all my fault…no gate around the pool. I will make sure I have one….ugh.

  70. Gareth says:

    This has just recently happened to me, we were on holiday with a group of friends with my 5 month old and nearly 3 year old. We were all down in and around the pool area and there were probably about 50 other holiday makers around the pool, my 3 year old had just got out of the pool and we had taken off his swim jacket as he was getting dry, I was still in the pool playing with a friends child, when for some reason I turned around and to my horror my son was lying motionless face up in the water. I was only 3 feet away from him and didn’t hear him fall in. I grabbed him, jumped out of the pool screaming and began to hit him on the back as I was panicking, his body was limp purple he was gone. Then the lifeguard and a doctor who was on holiday stepped in, they were trying to resuscitate him for a good minute. When they eventually got his heart going again and he began to throw up litres of water it was the best feeling when he started screaming daddy daddy. After a short trip and a 24hr stay in hospital we were home and will never ever take my eyes off of him or take his swim jacket off of him when he is in or Round the pool again, the doctors think he may of been dead for 2 minutes and we are so so lucky that he has nothing to show for his and our ordeal, I hope this helps people and makes them realise how quickly fun and laughter can turn to tragedy

  71. Also read the follow up post about ACA and the vile comment by the person who somehow missed the point of this post (just look at the title, it’s fairly apparent she wasn’t blaming anyone else!)… Respect your reasons for not going on that show. Your post has done a great community service in reminding everyone to be vigilant… Me included! X

  72. Squeaky Wheel says:

    I’m reading through because I have been awake since 3am. My baby boy turned 1 just a few days ago, yesterday I had just finished running a bath for one of my children and was waiting for him to get in, I was snuggled on the bed watching a children’s movie with another of my kids while bub slept in the cot. Half an hour passed and bub woke up, I assumed my child had had his bath so I told him to pull the plug out and close the bathroom door. I didn’t realise he hadn’t done any of those things, he hadn’t even had his bath yet, Minecraft was too hard to pull himself away from. A minute later we heard a strange cry, I got up to find bub, my son who also heard the cry got to the bathroom first, I got in there as he was pulling him out. From what my son told me he’d managed to get onto his side and cry out, but he was tired. It was all so quick, my child’s movie was finishing in a couple of minutes and it’s the what ifs that are haunting me. Babies never get the chance to tell someone they’re drowning, I’m so thankful he could call out, that alone is the miracle here, I can’t stop hugging and kissing him and telling him how loved he is :'( He is ok but I’m still keeping an eye on him because of the dry drowning risk, I will never forget how fast it happened, and I will probably never stop kicking myself :'( Ever.


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