by guest blogger Deanna Cogdon Miller
If you’re anything like me, when you see your child’s daycare or school number pop up on your caller ID, you get a little lump in your throat. Two weeks ago, our daycare number popped up late on a Friday morning and I recognized the voice of our oldest daughter’s teacher. My first instinct was to ask if she was ok and her teacher replied that yes, she was ok but that there had been an “incident”.
Her class goes swimming most Fridays and for fun, she was trying to blow water through a pool noodle. Rather than blowing it, she sucked it in by mistake. She went completely blue, couldn’t breathe, couldn’t talk and according to her teacher, had panic in her eyes. The lifeguard got her out of the water and talked her through it – eventually getting a little cough out and as more came, her colour came back and she recovered fully.
From the moment I answered that phone call from daycare, our experience was nothing short of amazing.
Thank you to her amazing teachers who praised her for how great she did but knew not to make a huge a deal of it. I firmly believe that their supportive but easy going reaction is the reason she has had no problem getting back into the pool since this happened.
Thank you to Kaitlyn – the lifeguard. As a former lifeguard, I know how scary it is when you realize you actually have to put your skills to work. She was calm, focused and praised and encouraged our daughter as she coughed. She also told the teachers to let us know we may want to get follow-up in case there was water in her lungs which could potentially be dangerous when she slept. Another lifeguard with different skills, a different level of confidence and a less calm demeanor could have meant an entirely different outcome for us. I don’t even know her, but I am ever so grateful to Kaitlyn.
Thank you to the incredibly nice nurse from 811 who did everything she could to find information for us on children who could potentially have water in their lungs. After not finding what we needed, she put me on to poison control.
Thank you to the unbelievable woman at poison control who was so supportive and because they’re located at the IWK, went and found someone in the IWK’s emergency department to find out what we should do (which ended up being to take her in).
Thank you to the IWK for having the policy that once your child has been in emerg, you can call and talk to someone for 48 hours afterwards. Her lungs were fine when we took her in on Friday and we were told to watch for signs of infection. When she developed a really high fever Saturday afternoon, we called for advice and ended up taking her back.
Thank you to our daycare for including us in the process of report-writing that has to happen after an incident like this. They were extremely supportive and wanted to make sure we were fine with all the details and everything that was submitted.
Thank you to the pool for actually calling us the next day to see how our daughter was doing. I was in shock when the woman said where she worked and why she was calling.
So the moral of the story? We have unbelievably great people in HRM and because of the skills, kindness and support of people we know and many complete strangers, I can sleep at night.
Deanna lives in Dartmouth with her husband and three children. When she's not reading stories, dancing to ABBA or burping a baby, she works in communications for Bell Aliant.