The Story behind Abbey's Hope Organization
By: Rose Beasley
Sadly, it is not uncommon to hear about a tragic death or injury to a child that is water related. Pool time, bath time and beach time is supposed to be fun time. No one is thinking about the dangers lurking around them when they are laughing and making new memories with their loved ones. The really scary part is that the danger is not always the water itself. There are other risk factors that most of us would never even think about. The story behind Abbey's Hope Organization is a shocking reminder to always be aware of what is around you and your children.
In June 2007, six-year-old Abbey suffered a horrific injury. While playing in a public wading pool, Abbey unknowingly sat on a poorly maintained drain that was unequipped with the appropriate safety devices. The powerful suction eviscerated Abbey, ripping her small intestine from her body. Nine months of medical care followed, including 16 surgeries, multiple organ transplants, several infections and many, many nights spent in a hospital bed. Despite the best medical care, Abbey went peacefully with her family by her side in March 2008. In the hospital, Scott and Katey Taylor made a promise to Abbey. The promise was to make sure this kind of injury never happens to someone else. It was with that goal in mind that Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation was founded.
In spite of the tragedies that occur everyday, it is true that traditional forms of drowning and entrapments, entanglements and eviscerations are completely preventable. Also, these prevention tactics are easily achieved. Drowning and entrapments can be prevented by using what is commonly referred to as “layers of protection." These are safety devices and behaviors that are used together to help prevent injuries and deaths from happening. For instance, children should be actively supervised when they are in or anywhere near water. Pools and spas of all kinds should be completely surrounded by an isolation fence with a self-locking gate. They should also be built and maintained so as to prevent entrapments, entanglements and eviscerations from happening in the first place. Something else that is very important to remember is that safety drain covers and back up safety devices like a safety vacuum release system should be installed. Children should be taught how to swim at an early age and adults should be trained in CPR. Doors alarms, pool alarms and automatic pool and spa covers add an extra layer of safety. These efforts, combined with others, quite simply, saves children’s lives and prevents injuries.
Let's make Summer 2021 the safest and most happily memorable one yet.
BECOME A WATER WATCHDOG
Children can drown in seconds. Yes, even in pools where lifeguards are present. That’s why we’ve designed the Water Watchdog Program. The idea is simple. One adult wears the Watchdog Tag around bodies of water and follows the rules below. When the designated Water Watchdog needs to take a break, he or she hands off the tag, and the responsibility, to another adult.
TAKE THE PLEDGE
As a Water Watchdog, you agree:
- To maintain constant visual contact with the children in your group.
- Not to drink alcohol, talk on the phone, socialize or read while watching children.
- To keep a phone near the water for emergency purposes only.
- To remain by the water until relieved by a new Water Watchdog.
To learn more about becoming a Water Watchdog, to donate to the cause or to just learn more about the organization click the link https://abbeyshope.org
This article is brought to you by: The Swimming Swan