Former Olympic skier Bode Miller confirmed via Instagram on June 11 that his 19-month-old daughter, Emeline Grier Miller, passed away on June 10 from what appears to have been a pool-related accident.
According to a report from TMZ, Bode and his wife, Morgan, attended a neighbor's pool party on Sunday, and somehow Emeline ended up in the pool. Although no one can confirm how long she was in the pool, attempts to resuscitate her were not successful.
Bode Miller posted eight photos of Emeline to Instagram along with the following heartbreaking caption:
"We are beyond devastated. Our baby girl, Emmy, passed away yesterday. Never in a million years did we think we would experience a pain like this. Her love, her light, her spirit will never be forgotten. Our little girl loved life and lived it to it's fullest everyday. Our family respectfully requests privacy during this painful time."
Although this was a tragic accident, parents should take every single precaution possible while their children are near water. Here are some guidelines parents should keep in mind:
- Keep your eyes on your kids at all times. If you're at a pool party, make sure there's one designated adult who's watching the swimmers. And that means no cell phones, no reading, and no chit-chat with friends.
- Enroll children in swimming lessons at a young age. Although babies surely won't master the skills first thing, the sooner you get them comfortable in the water, the better.
- Make sure kids have proper floatation devices on if they can't swim — such as puddle jumpers or a Coast Guard-approved life jacket — even when they are near the water but aren't swimming yet.
- Teach kids to stay away from drains, suction outlets, and filters in swimming pools and hot tubs.
- Stick close by or always ensure that an adult is within arm's reach. This way, they will be able to immediately jump into action if there's a problem.
- Tie long hair back, and remove any dangling jewelry or lose strings from your child's swimsuits (to avoid any dangerous situations with drains or suction outlets).