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