A heartwarming incident captured by a security camera in Thailand serves as a universal reminder of the critical importance of pool safety for children. Amidst the cautionary tale, emerges a tale of a courageous toddler who became a guardian for her younger sibling.
On a seemingly ordinary day, Kana Kanuengnit, aged 3, and her 2-year-old sister Kaning were enjoying their time by the family pool in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. The date was April 1st. As fate would have it, their father, 29-year-old Apisit, was supervising their play, while their mother attended to household tasks.
Apisit shared, “I was tidying up near the pool, and my wife was busy cooking in the kitchen behind the house,” as reported by Yahoo. “We hadn’t planned any pool activities, so I wasn’t aware of what was happening. But in a split second, as I turned my back to sweep, my younger daughter slipped into the pool.”
Kaning found herself in the 4-foot-deep pool and struggled to stay afloat. It was Kana, her elder sister, who recognized the peril and immediately called out to her father. Apisit was engrossed in his task, his back turned as he tidied the patio area.
With a cry for help, Kana alerted her father about Kaning’s predicament and sprang into action herself.
Lost in the urgency of the moment, Apisit recounted, “I didn’t think twice, even about my phone and belongings in my pockets. I tossed them aside and leaped into the water.” With remarkable swiftness, he reached his daughter and lifted her from the water’s grasp before it could claim her. In that pivotal instant, the safety of his daughter overruled any concern for material possessions.
Through this heart-pounding experience, Apisit aspires to impart a vital message to parents globally. He stated, “This incident serves as a powerful reminder that you can’t afford to divert your attention, even for a second, when children are near water.” His plea is directed at parents with young children who have access to pools, urging them to either install protective barriers or to exercise constant vigilance.
This story evokes memories of a similar incident covered by Upworthy in 2020. In Rio de Janeiro, a 3-year-old named Henrique strayed from his parents while playing poolside with another child his age, Arthur. The video captured the dramatic moment when Henrique, reaching for an inflatable toy, fell into the water. For a tense 10 seconds, he battled to stay afloat, until Arthur exhibited bravery beyond his years by extending his hand and lifting the boy to safety. In this alternate scenario, Arthur’s act potentially saved two young lives.
As summer approaches and children gravitate towards pools, it’s essential to confront the sobering statistics: every year, approximately 400 children aged 15 and below succumb to pool or spa-related incidents. A staggering 75% of these tragedies involve children under the age of 5, and 83% occur in residential pools.
Three imperative guidelines every parent should uphold:
Never leave a child unattended in or near water.
Implement effective barriers around pools or spas to prevent unsupervised access.
Equip yourself with knowledge on performing CPR for both children and adults.
Through vigilance and responsible precautions, parents can ensure that joyous poolside moments do not turn into preventable tragedies.