Former Olympic skier Bode Miller and his wife Morgan Beck Miller are warning parents to make pool safety a priority.
The couple lost their 19 month old daughter Emeline, “Emmy”, in June 2018 when she drowned, in a pool at a neighbor’s home where the family was at a party.
“A child under 30 pounds can drown in 30 seconds,” Beck Miller told The Today Show, just days after the drowning.
Beck Miller, a professional beach volleyball player, prays every day for the opportunity to go back to that day and make things different.
She’s now focused on preventing other families’ heartbreak: “Now we have this opportunity to make other parents’ days different.”
Drowning is the number one cause of death for children ages 1 to 4.
Some of the main drowning risks are lack of swimming ability, lack of barriers to prevent unsupervised water access, lack of close supervision, or failure to wear life jackets.
The American Academy of Pediatrics urges homeowners to install fencing that’s at least four-feet high with no opening under it and surrounded on all four sides. They also suggest using safety gates, doorknob covers and door locks to keep kids from going outside without someone noticing.
These days, the Miller family includes twins Asher and Aksel, who started Infant Swimming Resource (ISR) self-rescue instruction when they were seven months old. Their older brother Easton, born after Emmy’s death, took ISR training too.
He says the ISR training empowers kids, “Anywhere they encounter water, they’re going to have the right skill set traveling with them.”
Beck Miller encourages parents to teach their children swimming and water safety skills at a young age.
“The skills that you learn to independently self-rescue are the most important things you can teach your child,” she says.