4 Things You Need to Know About Sand Safety (plus a giveaway)

Well, hello there, reader. Yes, it’s been awhile. Two months have flown by since my last post, and in that time, I’ve traveled thousands of miles, both literally and emotionally, and I just haven’t had the time or energy to write. I’ve had to make choices between making something (knit, spin, cook, bake) or writing about it; when that’s the choice, the making always wins.

But today is a very special day, and I couldn’t let it pass without my annual blog post about it.

my "little" boys

These are my twin sons, who are now (gulp) 11 years old. They amaze me daily and I’m so grateful to have them in my life. Today, I count my blessings a little bit more, because eight years ago today, we nearly lost one of them.

I tell the story every year in hopes of helping people learn about the dangerous but preventable phenomenon of sand hole collapse. In July 2007, when our sons were three years-old and our family was visiting Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, one of them 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. He was completely buried for at least five minutes; miraculously, he survived. You can read the full story here, with follow-up here . And read about it from the amazing perspective of Erika Weiland, the woman who saved his life, here. After our accident, I learned that this kind of accident, while uncommon, is not unheard of; it is not a “freak accident.” In fact, this sort of accident happens on beaches around the world every year, more frequently than shark attacks do.

The vast majority of these kinds of accidents happen to boys, between the ages of three and 21. Even when the accident is witnessed and people act quickly, it can be very difficult to dig a child out of a hole or trench on the beach; the sand wants to keep filling back in the hole. The majority of these accidents end in death. While this kind of accident is uncommon, it’s still a risk, and one that can be prevented without too much effort. There are four easy things you can do to prevent such a tragedy.


(please pin this! I don’t have the Pin It widget, which isn’t supported on wordpress.com, but I would love for you to share this list on Pinterest) So, that’s it: one thing to do when you arrive at the beach, one thing to do while you’re there, and one thing to do when you leave, plus one thing to teach your kids. I know that #2 seems pretty severe. I got this piece of advice from Dr. Bradley Maron, who has studied sand hole collapses, but if knee-high holes are just too shallow for your group to deal with, perhaps waist-high of the shortest person in your group?

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. I believe that with more awareness of the risks, such tragedy could be avoided. My internet friends have been a huge part of helping me raise awareness. Will you help me spread the word again this year? I always like to give a little something away as part of my celebration of this amazing anniversary.

handspun squishiness

I’d like to send you a skein of my latest handspun yarn. This is 222 yards of worsted-weight 2-ply South African Superfine (think merino, only softer!), hand-dyed by the inimitable David of Southern Cross Fibre in the “Nobby” colorway. This yarn will knit up beautifully into a gorgeous fall accessory. (If you aren’t a knitter and you win this giveaway, I will knit something for you).

All you have to do to enter the giveaway is spread the word about the risk of sandhole collapse and what to do to prevent these kinds of accidents. Spread the word however you’d like – on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, your own blog, word-of-mouth, or all of the above. If you spread the word online, you can link back to this page, or to one of the previous posts I linked to above. Then come back here to this post and leave a comment below, letting me know you’ve passed it on, and I’ll enter you into the drawing. I will draw a random winner next Wednesday, July 15, after 5:00pm EST. Some of you, of your own volition, have already linked to this story this season. THANK YOU! If you would like to be entered in the giveaway, just leave a comment letting me know you’ve already posted/linked, and I will enter you. Thank you, good people of the internet, for continuing to help me spread the word about this.July 2007


53 thoughts on “4 Things You Need to Know About Sand Safety (plus a giveaway)

  1. Thank you for for this, SSD~ this was completely new information. I happily passed it onwards. So glad your boys are still strong and with your family.


  2. Tragically, I remember this same type occurrence happening in Ocean City, MD a few years, ago. Good reminder!

  3. Just saw this on Elizabeth’s news feed on Facebook – happy to share! What an amazing story! Any chance the boys are around to hang out this summer? Thomas would love to see them!

  4. Wow. I see your boys all the time when dropping off/picking up my kids from school. I had no idea! Thank you so much for sharing your story. How scary! I am sharing it on FB right now.

    Also, that skein of yarn is gorgeous. Hope you guys have a great and SAFE summer!

  5. Shared on FB, Twitter and Google+! This is something everyone should be aware of, even if they don’t have small people in their lives!

  6. Shared on FaceBook. I remember reading about this for the first time (on your blog) last year. Can’t go to a beach now without thinking about it. You have raised awareness! I hope I can do the same. Best Regards.

  7. I was not aware of this danger. Thank god your child is ok!! Thanks for the info, I am sharing on fb.

  8. I just wanted to tell you that I read your story for the first time last year and it was so compelling that when I was on vacation near where this happened (and many hundreds of miles from home) I recalled it and mentioned it to a friend who loves the beach and taking her family there. I’m so glad you got a happy ending to your story. I appreciate how you try to make a happy ending possible for others by sharing this information, too.

  9. What a life changing experience. Thank you for sharing. I read this on Facebook a year or so ago before I knew you. My heart is so thankful that your sweet boy was saved. I shared this on Facebook, too.

  10. This is so scary! We were just at the beach with our 2 year old and planning another trip. Thank you for sharing. Have already told a few friends.

  11. I posted the sand safety checklist on Pinterest and shared the whole article in Facebook. Thank you!

  12. Grew up in the beach and never heard of this! So glad your baby was okay. Thanks for sharing. I will be more careful now.

  13. Shared on Facebook! I share this every year because so many of my friends have young children and live near a beach. It’s worth making everyone aware, so they know what to watch for. Thank you for sharing your story and getting the word out!!

  14. Thanks for sharing this story. I never knew. I have shared with others in hope of enlightening beach goers to this danger. God bless y’all.

  15. Pingback: earthchicknits

  16. As an avid beachgoer, I feel really foolish for being completely unaware of this issue until now. Thank you for posting. I just shared it on Facebook.

  17. also to note decaying plant life can create pockets the can gobble up people. This occurred at the national lake shore here in Indiana. Luckily the little boy survived due to the hard work of emergency response, construction workers and many others I have share this because people need to watch their children all the time

  18. Thank you for posting this! My daughter has twin boys at 6 mos., and I sent this to her. I knew this was a problem and wanted her to know! So happy your child is okay after something so traumatic. Be blessed!

  19. I am a granny who never knew of this danger. Thank you! I’ve shared this on FB and I am thankful your son is OK!

  20. I never knew how dangerous playing on the beach could be I have pasted thid on facebook anything to save lives especially children sthey are so precious. I am so pleased that it all worked out well for you and sad that so many children do not survive an ordeal such as this.

  21. Thank you for sharing this information. I was completely unaware. I have shared your article on fb to help spread the word.

  22. Pingback: Wednesday Festival: a post-vacation edition. | RevGalBlogPals

  23. Pingback: Again with the Spinning (and a winner – or winners actually) | earthchicknits

  24. First thank you very much for sharing your story you are very lucky indeed. My nephew Adam Pye wasn’t so lucky, rescuers weren’t able to reach him in time and he suffocated after hole collapsed. It’ll be one year tomorrow (21st) a day that we can never forget.

    Your advocacy is commendable, education and frequent training for our first responders on sand entrapment is imperative. I read Dr. Marons study, granted It’s informative for the journal of medicine but it’s not reaching the public. Our mission like yours is to spread the word that sand entrapment is a real danger.
    Hug those boys they are precious, love their curls and your yarn!

    So we are making it our mission to educate the community at every level. Our beaches are to be enjoyed, your

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s