Every day, 11 people in the United States of America die from drowning according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For children aged 1-4 years old, fatal drowning is the leading cause of death. For kids aged 5-14 years old, it is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death.
Brain damage, long-term disability, and other severe conditions may be caused by drowning injuries.
Here are the factors that make drowning more likely for people, including children:
- Inability to swim. This is why it’s important to participate in formal swimming lessons.
- Absence of fences or improper pool fencing. Effective fencing can prevent children from accessing a swimming pool without the awareness of their parents or guardians.
- Lack of proper supervision. Drowning happens everywhere: seas, lakes, ponds, pools, bathtubs, and even in pails of water.
- Location. For babies under 1 year old, the highest risk place is the bathtub. For children ages 1–4 years old, it’s the home swimming pool, while it’s natural water and swimming pools for those kids aged 5-14. For those aged 15 years old and above, the highest risk location is natural water such as rivers, lakes, and seas.
- Alcohol consumption, resulting in impairment of judgment, balance, and coordination.
- Use of drugs and prescription medicines. There are medications that have side effects that are similar to alcohol.
- Not wearing life jackets.
With these drowning statistics, everybody should really take precautions to protect themselves and others from such accidents.
However, a mom got wrongly blamed by another woman for spoiling her niece’s happiness when she refused to take her to a swimming pool along with other kids.
An Original Poster with username u/RottenMomIsMe shared this story on Reddit’s r/AmItheA–hole forum, citing her fear for the blind child and the other kids with her. She wrote, “We got one last really nice warm day, and I said I would take my son and his friends to the pool this morning. When he was texting everyone, he told me one of his friends had a cousin over and asked if we would be able to take her as well. I asked how old the cousin is and if she knows how to swim. He said ten and yes, so I said of course.”
Upon getting to the house to pick up her son’s friend and his cousin, OP suddenly felt nervous. The girl, she realized, is blind. And there are five other kids for her to look after. Yes, her son and his friends are terrific swimmers, but she still felt she could not risk any of them. She knew that she would have to pay more attention to the blind girl, which means she would not be able to properly supervise the other kids. Accidents can happen in just a matter of minutes, even seconds!
OP thought of something that would be fun and safe for everyone. Instead of taking the kids to a swimming pool, they all went to the park. At first, the kids were disappointed, but they immediately forgot all about it. They started enjoying themselves, along with their blind playmate. OP also sent messages to all the parents about where they were in order to put their minds at ease. But it was the blind child’s aunt who texted back to ask why they didn’t go to a pool as originally planned.
And so OP says, “I texted back that I decided on the park instead. She asked why, and I said six kids at the pool is a lot, and the park is less stressful. She asked if I didn’t take them to the pool because her niece is blind. I said six kids and water with one adult is just a lot. She said I was fine with five, and it seems obvious I just didn’t want to watch a blind child in the water. I responded that even if that’s true (which, yeah, it is, I just didn’t want to admit it) would that really be so bad? If I’m not comfortable in my ability to keep the kids safe in the water, I shouldn’t supervise them in water.”
Do you know the reply she got? The blind girl’s aunt called her a bad mom and a b-tch because she’s incapable of keeping kids safe in the water.
Of course, such words were disheartening to OP. She liked the blind child for her sweetness, but she was nervous because she might not be able to properly supervise all of them in a pool.
Is she really a rotten mom?
The AITA community members were all out in support of her!
Right_Bee_9809 responded with, “One adult with six kids, one of whom is blind, seems like a recipe for disaster. I feel stressed just imagining it. NTA at all. BTW, acting like a child who is blind and being placed in an unfamiliar environment is a non-issue is just stupid.”
GymThrowaway5576 also quickly pointed out, “And OP went above and beyond by CHANGING the plan ALTOGETHER. It’s not even that she outright refused to take the girl. She didn’t even say something about it to the children, imo a very mature move. NTA at all.”
Spinnerofyarn likewise commented, “And what parent sends their blind child with someone without talking with them first about how independent the child is or isn’t? It’s common courtesy or should be to make sure the adult knows what the child does or doesn’t need in terms of assistance. Maybe the child would be just as fine as all the other kids in the pool, but OP had no way of knowing because all kids at that age need more supervision in the water versus out of it.”
SCsongbird pointed out another important matter as well: “Wasn’t it the aunt that sent her without informing anyone about her being blind? I hope someone tells the little girl’s mom. That is definitely irresponsible.”
And to all these, ArgyllFire agreed, “Yeah, I think OP did great here. It would be fair to say, ‘I don’t feel that I have the skills to supervise a child with “x” in “y” situation.’ Asking the aunt to come as support was an option, but maybe they would have still felt responsible and weren’t comfortable. So OP decided where she was comfortable supervising and pivoted on the fly. I don’t know that I would have thought that up so fast, honestly.”Whizzco