As many of you know, five years ago yesterday, we almost lost our then-3 year-old son in a sand hole collapse at Santa Rosa Beach, in Florida. He fell into a hole dug by other children, and the sand collapsed on top of him, burying him completely, with his head at least 8 inches under the surface. Miraculously, he survived. You can read the full story here , with follow-up here . And read about it from the amazing perspective of Erika Wieland, the woman who saved his life, here .
Our little guy and his twin brother are now 8 years old. They both remember the accident, and speak about it freely. None of us takes for granted the gift we were given that day at the beach.
After our accident, I learned that sandhole collapses are a more frequent occurrence than I would’ve dreamed, and that the majority of them end in death. There are four easy things you can do to prevent such a tragedy:
1. When you arrive at the beach, always check nearby for any holes left by others, and fill them in.
2. Do not dig holes any deeper than knee-high of the shortest person in your group. Yeah, I know this sounds extreme. If this feels more extreme than your group can accommodate then perhaps you can at least stop at waist-high.
3. If you do dig holes, fill them in before you leave. The hole my son fell in had been left by other children.
4. Make sure any children you go to the beach with know that holes and trenches can be dangerous, and that they should let you know if they see any abandoned holes.
Every year, as part of my celebration of getting our baby back, I post about our experience, in hopes of raising awareness of this entirely preventable sort of accident. Every summer these accidents continue to happen (a teenager in California was nearly killed two weeks ago). My internet friends have been a huge part of helping me get out the word.
Also as part of my celebration, I always do a tiny giveaway. This year, I’d like to give one of you this handknite shawlette:
This is a Through the Loops pattern, Nefertem. I loved every minute of knitting it and would love wearing it, too, but I decided that instead I would like to give it away as a way of sharing my joy. (I’ll be posting more pics and deets about the shawl tomorrow – just wanted y’all to get a glimpse of the giveaway goods).
All you have to do is leave a comment here, or on my Facebook page, and I will enter you into the drawing. And if you let me know that you spread the word (through FB, TW, Google+, or your own blog), I will enter you a second time. I will draw a random winner next Monday, July 16, after 5:00pm EST.
Thanks for celebrating with me y’all.