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“Leah is an absolute hero,” Whitfield said. “I can’t say enough about her and how calmly and quickly she handled the situation.”
Mickschl, who grew up around water, said the event has made her more aware of her surroundings when she is by water and when her two kids, 8 and 10, are in water.
She added that what happened to Whitfield could happen to anyone.
“It was an awful day that has changed my life – I look at everything differently now,” Whitfield said. “I have an appreciation for so much. Life is so precious and can change in the blink of an eye.”
Whitfield and Mickschl share their tips for parents and caregivers:
· Inches count. While Cooper was able to touch the bottom of the pool in the 3-foot section, he nearly drowned where the depth was only 3-and-a-half feet.
· Always be aware and always be present. If you have to step away, ask someone to watch your child.
· Register your child for swimming lessons.
· Get CPR certified.
· Always use a lifejacket. Cooper typically wore one at the pool, but it got left behind.
· Drowning is a leading cause of death in kids ages 1 to 4. Boys are at a higher risk for drowning.
· Drowning is silent.
Find more water safety tips here.
Read our original story about the rescue and the honor Mickschl received for her efforts.
Join Christie, Leah and Children’s trauma team on Wednesday, July 10, at a water safety event.