Monday, July 13, 2009

Take Out The Batteries At Night

Water safety means more than just having a life jacket for everyone in the boat. Sometimes you have to think about water safety at unexpected moments.
CBC Radio reported the rescue of a child, safe and sound, from the cold waters of the Peace River. The Jones family was camping at Peace Island Park near Taylor, BC. Three-year-old Demetrius Jones woke up about 7:00 am Sunday the 13th, snuck out of his grandparents’ trailer, and found his battery-powered toy truck. By the time his family woke up, he was out of sight.
Searchers looked everywhere along the shore and downriver, where they found Demetrius about two hours later. He was twelve kilometres downriver, floating in deep, cold water. His plastic truck had rolled over, but he was still hanging on to it.
The whole story is here at and it made the Globe and Mail's front page at
What this says to me as a parent is that we can't just trust in child-resistant latches for trailer doors or tent zippers when camping near water. It takes thinking actively about safety. Take the batteries out of the kid car at night. And hide the keys for the real truck.
I can remember worrying that our five-year-old twins would sneak down to the dugout pond on the farm. We got them swimming lessons. We made them promise not to go to the pond on their own. And we kept our promise to them, that Mom or Dad would escort them to the pond absolutely every time they asked. And I still marvel that somehow, the twins grew up. Solidarity for the Jones family figuring out their own safety protocols.

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