By Cassie McGovern
10 years have passed since that tragic, warm summer day in August that changed our lives forever. Losing a child is one of the hardest things that can happen to a parent.
Those that have lost a child, our prayers will always be with you. We are part of a club that no one wants to be in, and there is a part of you that will always be missing. Nothing can replace the tremendous void that your child leaves behind. We all want our child to be remembered because their life mattered. Even though many have told us, “Time heals all wounds,” we don’t agree. We learn to cope with the pain, but their absence is felt every day. Nothing will ever replace them. ??All of the dreams you had for them, are gone…? Today, our Edna Mae would be 12 years, in the 7th grade. We wonder if she would have kept that gorgeous blonde hair and mesmerizing blue eyes. We wonder if she would like sports or prefer reading. So many things, we wonder about. We lost out on so much because of a tragic incident that claimed our baby girl at 19 months of age. ??In the ten years since Em’s passing, we have committed our life to educate our community about the dangers of drowning. We’ve learned that Drowning is the NUMBER 1 cause of death for children 1 to 4 and our State leads the country with the amount of drownings we have.
When you see a drowning has occurred, everyone immediately blames the parents and looks to point fingers. This is something that our family has learned to live with and heal from. We are just like everyone else, we baby-proofed our home, we had the pool fence, we always supervised our children, yet this horrific tragedy claimed our child’s life. Everything lined up perfectly that warm August day for Em to find her way out to our backyard pool.
Drowning can happen to anyone, at any age.
NO ONE is invincible, even good swimmers can drown. Broward County loses approximately 70 individuals every year due to this horrific cause.
The State of Florida loses approximately 80 children every year due to drowning.
Simple Facts… Drowning can happen in as little as 2” of water.?Drowning can happen in less than 2 minutes.?
Drownings happen without even a splash of water. Always assign an adult to actively watch every person in the pool (reading, eating and being on your phone is not considered actively supervising). Think of it as if you are walking through a busy parking lot. Would you allow your child to walk alone? It just as dangerous, yet so many don’t perceive it that way. Even children who know how to swim should be supervised.
*Start swim lessons early, children can start swim lessons as early as 6 months.
*Install multiple barriers, door chimes/alarms to alert you that a child has left the house.
*Make certain to have fencing around any body of water, with all pool toys removed and stored away from the pool.
*Learn CPR, seconds count when an emergency happens.
*Last but not least, hug your loved ones. None of us are promised tomorrow. In a blink of an eye, everything can change.
If you would like to support The McGovern Foundation, please visit them on www.mcgovernfoundation.com or follow them on social media at McGovern Foundation d/b/a Em’s Place.