Mother’s grief rekindled by drowning news

EVERY time Tammie Lacey hears of a child drowning she relives her son’s death the day before his second birthday.

Only a few days into summer she has been reminded of it too often in the past 10 days.

“By the fourth day of summer there had been seven drownings in Australia in the previous week,” she said.

“Believe me, I know accidents happen, I know it firsthand.

“But too many parents get lazy or drop their guard. People become complacent and it only takes a few seconds.

“When it happens there’s no noise, no screaming, it’s silent, it’s a gulp of water and then it’s straight to the bottom.”

After her toddler drowned in 2006, the St Georges Basin resident established an online drowning awareness campaign at www.jacks-gift.com and on Facebook.

She said she constantly hears of people who believe it won’t happen to them or their child and that attitude is her major concern.

She said even parents who take their children to swimming lessons can’t afford to become complacent.

“It’s easy for parents to get a false sense of security. They take their child to swimming lessons in a warm pool, swimmers and goggles.

“But often when it happens the child is clothed and not wearing goggles.

“The time it takes to duck in and put the jug on is all it takes to lose a child.”

Another trend that concerns Ms Lacey is leaving older siblings to supervise younger ones in or around a pool.

“That is too much responsibility. Teenagers are easily distracted. It’s not fair to put another child in that situation. If someone drowned while they were supposed to be in charge they are going to have to live with that for the rest of their life.

“That’s a horrible thing to put on a young person, I know, I have to live with my situation for the rest of my life.

“It’s the start of summer and it’s time to remind people to stay vigilant when it comes to children around water,” she said.

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