Parents of young kids who are constantly running around to discover new things know they have to be watched at all times. But with the millions of things on parents’ plates, sometimes kids wander out of eyesight—and find themselves in some very dangerous situations. Laura Forrester, mom to three small children, experienced this first hand when her 2-year-old daughter, Andie, fell into their backyard pool. Luckily, her 4-year-old brother, Gray, was there to save her.
When Forrester moved to a new house in Knoxville, Tennessee, she took all the precautions she could think of to child-proof the pool. Her move coincided with the news that Olympic skier Bode Miller and his wife had lost their daughter in a drowning incident, so she took extra precaution, TODAY Parents reported. Forrester installed a safety fence, put alarms on doors and told her kids to never go out to the pool without a grown-up present, she told WBIR, Knoxville’s NBC affiliate.
But even with all of those security measures, Andie found her way outside and fell into the pool while Forrester’s attention was elsewhere. Her older brother Gray, who was 4 years old at the time, noticed she wasn’t able to stay afloat, and jumped into the water to save her.
“She was doggy paddling…I grabbed her tummy. I was trying to lift her so she could breathe,” Gray told WBIR. Andie chimed in, “He saved me.”
Forrester couldn’t believe what had happened, as the kids had been with her just minutes before. “Andie walked up and said, ‘I falled in the pool! I falled in the pool!’ She was soaking wet and I looked at Gray and he was soaking wet and I just panicked,” she told WBIR. “It happened so fast.”
While Forrester is thankful that Andie survived and Gray was able to act as heroically as he did for someone so little, she’s also taking the opportunity to warn other parents. Andie is already enrolled in swimming lessons.
“If people hear this story and they live close to the water, the lake or a pool or whatever, consider signing up for (swim) class because no matter what precautions you take, it can still happen,” Foresster told WBIR. “And I hope that maybe it could save somebody else’s life.”
This certainly isn’t the first time a toddler has almost drowned from falling in a pool, so swimming lessons for young children are never a bad idea.
Looking for more ways to keep your kid safe around water? Read our top tips from pediatricians.