Judah Brown Project info@judahbrownproject.org

Courtney Fancher

We started out in a puddle jumper until I found this page and decided a life jacket would be better at keeping her upright. Then one day she came out of the water for a round of sunscreen and forgot to put her life jacket back on. I watched her head bob in the water for about 5-7 seconds before I realized I’d forgotten to remind her. I got her out, we had a long talk and she thanked me for saving her. Now every time we even discuss the pool, I ask “what is the first thing we do before getting in the pool?” And the reply is always lifejacket. My daughter is 4 years old and taking a two week ISR class for the third year in a row and can finally doggy paddle on her own. I also have chimes on doors leading outside and a safety device that goes off if something falls in and breaks the surface tension. After buying a home with an in-ground three years ago, I went overboard trying to protect her from it – but I still dropped the ball even when she was right in front of me. Luckily I knew the signs and was aware of the obvious fact that her life jacket was not on. 

While swimming at my friend’s apartment recently, I jumped from my chair when my eyes left my daughter. My friends asked why I was freaking out if she had a life jacket on. The answer is “the bystander effect.” If I depend on everyone else to collectively watch her, who’s going to save her if she goes under? I am solely responsible for her safety in the water and I depend on no one to watch her for me unless I exclusively ask one person and stress this same thing. She was fine and just holding onto the side of the pool where her head was above water but just out of my sight.