Olympian Bode Miller loses daughter in pool accident

Vash01

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I remember watching Barbara Underhill on TV in the past. It was after she had lost one of her twins in her backyard pool. She said (paraphrasing) -I did not know such pain could exist. :(
I think she spoke for all the parents who lost a child in a pool. It takes just one moment of loss of attention when something like this happens.
 
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Japanfan

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Every year there are frequent reminders on TV for people to watch their kids around water.
And frequent reminders not to leave kids (or dogs) in a hot car.

I am curious as to how the toddler got into the pool. 19 months is way too young for a child to be left unattended around a swimming pool.

What a tragedy. :(
 

Rob

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From what I have read, it sounds like the mother was in the kitchen of a friend's house and thought the child was next to her. Looked down and she wasn't there. She'd toddled outside and gone in the pool. Door open I guess?
I did that when I was 1 - somehow got the screen door open and crawled into the pool. A neighbor saw me do it and came running. My mother was in the kitchen and thought I was contained in the kitchen with her by the screen door.
 

Skittl1321

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From what I have read, it sounds like the mother was in the kitchen of a friend's house and thought the child was next to her. Looked down and she wasn't there. She'd toddled outside and gone in the pool. Door open I guess?
I did that when I was 1 - somehow got the screen door open and crawled into the pool. A neighbor saw me do it and came running. My mother was in the kitchen and thought I was contained in the kitchen with her by the screen door.
Tragic accident. Many pools now have separate fences around the pool, but a lot of people who do not have toddlers themselves do not put them up because they don't look real nice in the landscaping design.

It only takes a few seconds for a toddler to get away. It only takes a few moments of not noticing that for something horrible to happen. A friend just lost her toddler in a very strange fence accident (4 foot tall garden fence- his head got stuck between bars and it cut off the blood flow.) He was away from her side for less than 2 minutes; she was in the side yard and he was in the backyard just out of view.

I can't imagine the pain Bode's family is going through. The birth of their next child is likely to bring extraordinarily complicated emotions. I hope they find good help away from publicity.
 

alexikeguchi

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It only takes a few seconds for a toddler to get away. It only takes a few moments of not noticing that for something horrible to happen.
We thought we had done everything to childproof our house, but my older son was a little Houdini as a toddler. He used to wake up earlier than us, climb out of his crib, pile up his toys by the front door so that he could reach the four locks and chains we had on there, and let himself out for a walkabout. Fortunately, we lived at the end of a cul de sac at that time and in a region of the country where pools are not common at all, so no harm came of his wanderings other than a few moments of panic. Calamity can befall in the blink of an eye, and there but for the grace of God go a lot of us. I'd imagine Bode and his wife will question what they could have done differently for the rest of their lives, but I hope they are surrounded by love and support rather than judgment.
 

Rob

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It's unimaginable.
The fences around the pools help, but they are only as good as the closed gate, which might get left open accidentally during a pool party.
 

AxelAnnie

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It is horrific. And they will always blame themselves, and re-live those few minutes.
Toddlers + partying adults + swimming pool can = disaster.

I do not even know who you survive I heard the other day (Dr. Laura) if your spouse dies, you are a widow/widower. If your parents die you are an orphan. If your child dies.........there is no word. It is too huge and the pain too indescribable.
 

Vash01

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And frequent reminders not to leave kids (or dogs) in a hot car.

I am curious as to how the toddler got into the pool. 19 months is way too young for a child to be left unattended around a swimming pool.

What a tragedy. :(
IIRC Barbara Underhill's daughter Stephanie was just 18 months old when she drowned. Toddlers do have a way to move around. :( They are not really unattended in most cases. Just a slight distraction can lead to disaster. One of my coworkers who had a 3 year old son at the time, absolutely refused to have a backyard pool. She did not want to take any chances. Arizona requires a fence around the pool or a sliding door at the back. Still there is no substitute for human attention. I am not blaming anyone. Accidents do happen and they are tragic beyond words. I am very sorry that Bode and his wife have to go through this.
 

CantALoop

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I remember watching Barbara Underhill on TV in the past. It was after she had lost one of her twins in her backyard pool. She said (paraphrasing) -I did not know such pain could exist. :(
I think she spoke for all the parents who lost a child in a pool. It takes just one moment of loss of attention when something like this happens.
So true. This happened to an aunt of mine who lost both of her twins to their pool. They actually had a pool alarm that would go off if something fell in the pool, but the rain that day caused the alarm to keep going off.

Someone else in the household turned off the alarm and sometime in the next hour one of my toddler twin cousins fell in and his twin presumably followed him into the pool. I imagine that my aunt will always think, "what if" they didn't flip that switch.
 

Vash01

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So true. This happened to an aunt of mine who lost both of her twins to their pool. They actually had a pool alarm that would go off if something fell in the pool, but the rain that day caused the alarm to keep going off.

Someone else in the household turned off the alarm and sometime in the next hour one of my toddler twin cousins fell in and his twin presumably followed him into the pool. I imagine that my aunt will always think, "what if" they didn't flip that switch.
How horrible!
 

twinsissv

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I recall Barbara Underhill's loss of one of her twins to a backyard pool. Every time I see potential house hunters with toddlers looking at a house with a pool, I seem to think back on that incident with a feeling of abject horror. :(
 

Japanfan

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Calamity can befall in the blink of an eye, and there but for the grace of God go a lot of us.
I'm reminded again of the babies who've been left in hot cars and died (though their deaths didn't happen in the blink of an eye).

I was reading responses to the story of one such indicated, and many posted that they too had forgotten their child in their car, but fortunately nothing happened. They said the reason was that having the child in the car was a break in routine. For example, it was their partners who usually took the baby to day care. They drove to work on auto-pilot and completely forgot about the (presumably quiet) baby strapped in the back seat.
 

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