18 Seconds for a Toddler to Drown in a Pool

If you’ve got young children, as I do, you know the perils of the pool.  Take a few minutes to read this tragic story of the drowning of a little girl over the weekend in a crowded swimming pool.  I think Lifeguards should also be trained to know when kids are too young for the deep end. This article was copied from The Philly Post blog – it was not written by us – but we would like to share this story.  The URL is here if you’d like to post comments to Larry Mendte: http://blogs.phillymag.com/the_philly_post/2011/06/02/18-seconds/

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18 Seconds

A life is lost in what feels like an instant at the St. Albans pool in Delaware County

Posted on 6/2/2011 at 11:01AM
Joanie Logan was only three years old, but she had a presence you could not ignore. As smart and confident as she was beautiful, she was the child that people would say is going to be something someday.
Her someday was taken from her on Saturday.
On Memorial Day weekend, in a crowded pool at a private club on the Main Line, with hundreds of people around, Joanie Logan drowned. No one at the St. Albans pool that day and no one in Joanie’s family will ever be the same.
Joanie Logan is the daughter of my nephew Danny and his wife, Katie. I was at their home late Saturday, and I have never before witnessed such unadulterated pain.
I share this horrible story with you because maybe out of tragedy we can all learn something and maybe save the “someday” of another child.
Joanie’s parents were at the pool and lost sight of their daughter for what seemed like a second. Every parent has been there and felt that panic as they search for their child and imagine the worst thing that could happen. For Danny and Katie, the worst thing did happen. Joanie followed some “big girls” to deeper water. When they found her, she was floating in the water.
Later at Bryn Mawr Hospital, through the fog of her shock, Joannie’s mommy heard a doctor say that a child that size can drown in 18 seconds. The next day, Katie Logan stood in the shower and counted slowly to 18. In solitude it seems like an eternity. In a crowded pool with all its distractions, 18 seconds is a flash. A little girl is there and then she is gone.
It is a story with several victims and no heroes; a story with no blame, but a powerful lesson.
Whether on a beach, a crowded public pool or in your backyard, the water that looks so calm and inviting can take your child in the time it takes to make a phone call, run to the bathroom or turn to talk to someone.
You may think you have the time, but sometimes you don’t. The next time you think you do, let this face of an angel remind you that sometimes you only have 18 seconds.

Funeral Mass: Friday, June 3, 2011 at 10:30 a.m. at Our Mother of Good Counsel Church, 31 Pennswood Road, Bryn Mawr. Viewing: Burial: SS Peter & Paul Cemetery. Donations: In Joanie’s Memory to St. Rita of Cascia’s Shrine, 1166 Broad Street, Philadelphia. Thursday, June 2, 2011 after 4:00 p.m. at Dan & Katie’s residence, 762 Rugby Road, Bryn Mawr.
LARRY MENDTE writes for The Philly Post every Thursday. See his previous columns here. To watch his video commentaries, go to wpix.com.

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  1. Hamptontoes

    Terrible. You have me in tears. This is beyond heartbreaking. Sadly, I have stood at the grave of a dear friend’s three year old who drowned two summers ago. You are wise to post this reminder and as a mother, I thank you for doing so. My heart bleeds for this family. May this family be wrapped in love from family and friends.

  2. mom54321

    I have been haunted by this story – children and water terrify me, as drowning is a silent death that happens so quickly. As we cannot watch our children every second, this is a reminder to never rely on others – I urge every parent to buy swim vests and even cheap arm floaties to help their children float – or even use a noodle. If the pool you are in does not allow these accessories, do not rely on lifeguards to watch your kids as drowning is very subtle as well to detect. Or, do not go to the pool without one adult to watch each child. It is not worth it. Even when you believe your child can swim well, you should still watch them and do not allow adults to swim alone in pools as accidents happen all the time to adults as well.

    (I apologize if this is a duplicate comment)

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