The biggest fear and deepest loss for any parent is the loss of their child. It is a pain that stays for life. Imagine losing the life of your child on something as trivial as a school picnic! Just in the past few months, we have had two such tragic incidents in Bangalore. The first one was related to a 6th Std. girl who drowned at a very popular theme park, Wonderla, where she had gone on a school picnic. I have personally been to Wonderla on umpteen occasions, and it is so difficult to believe that someone her age and height could have drowned in the wave pool. It is just so sad. A similar incident of drowning had happened last year in November when a 9-year-old boy drowned in a swimming pool of a resort in Bangalore while on a picnic. As most of us are aware, most such resorts have pools that often have no lifeguards and no floats available. The kiddies pool (up to 3 feet) and the adult pool (ranging from 6 feet to 10 feet deep) are most often situated adjacent to each other. And, a bunch of noisy kids left in water, most of them not knowing swimming is a recipe for disaster. Many kids want to swim in the shallow end of the adult pool and could veer off to the deeper end without realizing. They could lose balance and get drowned. They could get accidentally pushed by the other kids and many such scary scenarios can unfold. Without immediate attention or medical help, any accident can end up claiming an innocent life.
I have two kids, and I wouldn’t dare have both of them in the pool alone with me because it is impossible to monitor two young kids up to mischief, splashing and trying out stunts with their amateur swimming skills. Can you imagine how a few teachers are supposed to monitor a bunch of them? One tiny mistake is enough to cause a tragedy. Without pointing fingers at the carelessness of teachers or fellow students, I think the best approach would be not to take young school kids for picnics to water bodies with strong currents or unmanned swimming pools. As a rule, I do not allow my kids to go for picnics to such resorts. I am all for picnics in open areas where they can run around and play. But water bodies, I don’t trust anyone except my husband and I to be vigilant with the kids. Call me paranoid, but I think it is better to be safe than sorry. I think the easiest solution would be if all the schools would implement this as a policy instead of inviting uncalled for disasters.
As an end note, I would say that accidents can strike anyone, anytime. Let us try to prevent them from happening. After all, prevention is always the better approach!