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Blog guest: Rick Kauffman - Prevention and water safety kids in and around the water

He lost a daughter when she was 3 years old. She drown. Today, a father of 7 children and a grandfather of 11, Rick Kauffman, podcaster, speaker, coach, telling us his lifestory and about prevention and kids safety in and around the water. For Swimming Dad as a #Blog guest, Rick Kauffman discover how much parents take seriously and apply water safety rules and taking care of their kids in and around the water, and also which are the most common and biggest mistakes that parents can make and raise risk of their kids drowning at the pool or even at the sea? But also in which way, all of us, every human being can do something to prevent drowning!

Do parents “hear” and take seriously and apply the whole year all 365 days, about water safety of their kids...?

As a father of 7 children and a grandfather of 11. This question really speaks to me. What I mean by that is when we are talking about water safety all year that is 365 days. The answer to this would be a NO. Let me explain a little why I would say that, parents do hear about water safety buy they don’t share water safety with their children all year long. If they do share education about water safety all year long, it’s not every day of the year.

My experience comes first hand as a father who lost a daughter to a drowning when she was 3 years old, while in the care of the babysitter, while attending her older sisters swim lessons, she drowned just 8 feet in front of a lifeguard. We had an inground pool in the backyard. I thought as every parent believes that we can prevent a drowning. It’s not that parents don’t believe that it can’t happen, and that water is not dangerous. Parents do know this; they just don’t believe that it will happen to them.

For the most part parents do not grow up in the aquatics community they may know how to swim, their knowledge of water safety to prevent drowning is very limited to their own personal knowledge. They do not attend water safety classes or haven’t grown up around water for the most part. So, it all comes down to what they know, which isn’t much as in my case.

As a parent we do not wish any harm to come to our children and all fathers I believe would do anything to protect their children 365 days a year. However, you can’t prevent or protect against what you do know or understand. You’re limited to what you can prevent based on you own knowledge. You would sacrifice your life for your child, for example you would push them out of the way of the bus and let the bus hit you instead. However when it’s in the water you can’t prevent what you can’t see.

From your experience what’s the most common and biggest mistakes that parents can make and raise risk of their kids drowning at the pool or even at the sea...?

As parents we make so many mistakes in our life and with our own children. I refer to this as the UNTHINKABLE. That is, we all have an UNTHINKABLE event that will happen to us or to someone we love. We just pray that it’s not losing a loved one like in my case. Mistakes are just part of life. It’s more of what can we do to mitigate those mistakes. Just as in the other question it comes right down to our own knowledge and what do we know to prevent such an accident. There is just one word for that mistake and that would be BELIEF. You must believe at any moment regardless of you child’s swimming ability that they could drown with people right next to them, without any one seeing what happens. Drowning just takes minutes and as little as 1 ½” inches of water for a child to drown.

Let me also answer it this way. For the most part we all buckle up are seat belt and put are children in a car seat. Why do we do that? Do you really believe that you will be in a car accident. No, you don’t, however, you do believe that it can happen, so you take every precaution to protect yourself and your children from being hurt in a car accident giving yourself and your child every chance to survive that accident. Then why do we not do that in the water?

As I have a leading podcast where I share stories of others who are walking in my shoes. This goes right along with the mistake as to not believing that this will happen to you. That is believing that someone else will be watching your child when you are not. Whatever you do, don’t believe that to be the case, you are asking for the worst to happen.

As a podcaster of a leading water safety podcast where I have interview 1,000’s of people on this subject there is one thing every one of these mistakes have in common. That is nobody was watching and that would include you the parent. Sorry if that sounds a bit harsh but it’s the truth. When a person drowns or at the time they get in trouble in the water or in a pool right in front of a lifeguard as in my daughter’s case nobody was watching. Drowning is a passive event it takes place under water out of sight. It’s not like in the movies. So, at the end nobody was watching, if they were then my daughter and 10’s or 100’s of thousands would be alive today!

How parents can help to raise water safety in favor of their kids in and around the water?

This is a good question as there could be many different answers. Let me just say that water safety must be a life style. At every corner and every minute of the day there is water always around us in the home and outside after it rains in the pool or at the ocean and beaches. If you feel that you have your water safety plan in place at home it must go with you on the road when you travel, when you are at a family or friends house. When you go on holiday and vacations. Your water safety must go with you.

Learn to be observant and ask question. If you don’t see what you are looking for. Let me give you some examples. If you can’t see the bottom of the pool because the water is cloudy or see if the pool drains are not broken, then you do not go in. When at the beach understand the flag system and if no lifeguard is present then you do not swim.

For the most part as in many other areas of safety much of this comes down to believing that it can and will happen if you are not aware and it can show up when you least expect it. Be Prepared ALWAYS.

Don’t assume that you know everything when you think that you got it covered, your wrong. Children do not know what it takes to be safe and we want our children to have fun in the water just like when we were kids. If our parents didn’t watch us or keep us an arm’s length away, then we are just lucky to be here today. If you understand that and share your concerns with other people, then we stand a fighting chance as parents to keep our children safe.

In which way, all of us, every human being can do something to prevent drowning?

What we all can do to prevent a drowning? That is to communicate with others around us. Believe that it can happen to anyone regardless of their ability to swim. Even in front of a lifeguard in 2-3 feet of water.

The sharing of information. As our mission at The Kels Group aka The Drowning Warrior Podcast and DW Nation is to save 185,000 Live form Fatal Drowning and over 1 Million Lives from Non-Fatal Drowning worldwide by June 15, 2029. How we are going to be able to do that is to educate every person on this planted that drowning is a problem for each and every one of us. For example, there is 2.45 Billion active users on Facebook. That is to have a water safety message show up on every one of these 2.45 Billion peoples news feed every day. If people, see it every day we stand a chance to change their behavior around the water. Just as the word Coke A Cola, I don’t have to say anything more you know what it looks like, taste like and the colors. We can do the same for water safety. It takes more than a village it will take all of us to communicate and share with everyone what we know and who we come in contact with every day.

Drowning was still one of the leading causes of death to children!

My life story…

No matter if you’re in business or in life, or you want to prevent the UNTHINKABLE, no matter what that is, an UNTHINKABLE event happens to all of us. The Solution is really simple, that is to start Small. The problem is that most people know the solution, however, 99% don’t understand how to implement the solution to turn their UNTHINKABLE situation around or to help others!

The world and everyone’s problems are so huge that just one person cannot change them. However, when you learn the solution of how to think small and apply that in your business and life you will have the combination to change the world. Such as mine, as there is power in numbers and as The Kels Group and The Drowning Warrior Podcast along with our community at DW nation will continue to raise the bar to deliver for the industry to accomplish our goal of saving 185,000 lives from drowning and over 1 Million lives from non-fatal drownings.

Let me tell you a quick story about the UNTHINKABLE, the day my daughter drowned in 1993. She was attending our local public pool with her babysitter for her older sister’s swim lessons. 45 minutes later she was found in the pool 8 feet in front of a lifeguard.

I struggled with who would take me seriously when my daughter drowned? Why didn't I know of the dangers? Why didn't I do something else that day?

8 years later the bottom fell out. I gave up. The UNTHINKABLE WON. I wasn’t going to be able to fulfill my promise to my daughter to not let someone else experience the UNTHINKABLE.

Not until 15 years later I realized drowning was still one of the leading causes of death to children. Other families are now living with the UNTHINKABLE.

As you can imagine, I was in bad shape, how am I to overcome the UNTHINKABLE? But I wasn't ready to give up on my dream.

At that point, everything changed! I learned to Start Small I found the Kels Group and The Drowning Warrior Podcast at https://thekelsgroup.com/podcast


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