Granger Smith's wife, Amber, is sharing water safety tips she learned after the tragic loss of the couple's 3-year-old son, River, who drowned earlier this summer in a pool on the family's property. Amber is opening up about what she and Smith have learned, while trying to cope with their unimaginable loss.
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"We haven’t spoken much on drowning since the accident," Amber wrote on Instagram. "We have focused more on loving those around you and living life the best you can while we are here on Earth. My heart is pulling me to speak now. For one, I wasn’t educated on drowning and how it’s the number one cause of death for children 1-4 years old. And statistically, more little boys drown than girls. Most drownings happen during NON SWIM TIMES, when little kids aren’t supposed to be around the pool, but somehow sneak away undetected (which means they are typically fully clothed, diaper and all, adding weight to their bodies).
"It takes under 30 seconds for a child to drown," she continued. "It is QUICK and SILENT. We’ve read as quick as six seconds. Brain damage can occur from lack of oxygen in as little as four minutes, if you don’t get the heartbeat and breathing back from CPR. In our case, we were on the phone with 911, doing CPR, for 10 minutes before they arrived. He was almost brain dead before we left for the hospital, even though they got the heartbeat back at about 12 minutes."
Amber also shared specific things adults can do to prevent another loss like River's, including infant survival classes, a four-sided pool gate with a lock (along with a second lock), keeping toys away from the pool area, learning CPR and early swim lessons.
"Remember that even with preparation, the unthinkable can happen," Amber acknowledged. "We aren’t always in control. Mostly, love your children like crazy. Be present with them. You never know what life will bring your way. This can happen to ANYONE - to good, loving, attentive parents. We thought we were prepared with lessons, pool gates and locks but it wasn’t enough.
"Thank you all for your continued prayers, love and support during this time," she added. "I hope we can help at least one person with this info. [heart emoji and broken heart emoji] #livelikeriv"
River drowned in June, after his body was found in the family's swimming pool, while everyone was playing outside. Smith later recalled the heartbreaking events the night River died.
"There was silence," Smith shared in a video on his YouTube channel. "I was 15 feet from the gate, which is something that will haunt me the rest of my life. I was 15 feet from that water, doing gymnastics. A, him getting in there is an almost impossible feat, and B, him silently getting into the water is beyond any of us understanding."0comments
Read all of Amber's water safety tips here. The Smiths recently moved into a new home, to help their children, Lincoln and Landon, get over the loss of their little brother. Smith is back on the road again. Find dates by visiting his website.
Photo Credit: Getty images / Rick Kern