Granger Smith’s Wife, Amber, Speaks Out on Water Safety After Son River’s Drowning
Following the death of their three-year-old son, River, in June of 2019, Granger Smith and his wife Amber have continued to connect with their fans through social media and videos uploaded to their YouTube channel, The Smiths. The couple have stressed the importance of making the most of every single day with loved ones, and even found powerful ways to honor River's legacy, raising money for the medical facility where he was treated and sharing their story of organ donation.
Smith has also spoken out how quickly -- and quietly -- the tragedy occurred. River drowned after accidentally getting into the family's pool, despite the fact that his parents had taken every precaution to ensure water safety, with a fence and a child-locked pool gate.
On Friday (Aug. 16), Amber reached out to fans on social media to discuss the issue of child water safety, explaining that she hopes her experience can help other parents. "For one, I wasn't educated on drowning and how it's the number one cause of death for children 1-4 years old," she writes.
"It takes under 30 seconds for a child to drown. It is QUICK and SILENT," she goes on to say. "We've read as quick as 6 seconds. Brain damage can occur from lack of oxygen in as little as 4 minutes, if you don't get the heartbeat and breathing back from CPR."
Amber also recounts the details of the night River died, explaining how quickly the situation turned tragic. "In our case, we were on the phone with 911, doing CPR, for 10 minutes before they arrived. He was almost brain dead before we left for the hospital, even though they got the heartbeat back at about 12 minutes."
She goes on to say that in the weeks following her son's death, many people had reached out to ask what parents could do to heighten water safety in their own families. "While we are still learning, here are some things we would recommend," Amber says.
"***Infant survival classes -- teaches them survival techniques, so they can possibly roll on their backs if they should fall in. ***Install a 4-sided pool gate, with a lock. ***Get a second lock. ***Get a pool alarm," she continues. "***Don't keep toys in the pool area, as kids are curious and may try to get in to reach toys. ***Learn CPR. ***Enroll in swim lessons earlier ***Puddle jumpers [children's flotation devices] lead to a false sense of security in the water."
Even if parents take every precaution, Amber adds, being around water always poses a risk. "Remember that even with preparation, the unthinkable can happen. We aren't always in control," she reminds fans. "...This can happen to ANYONE - to good, loving, attentive parents. We thought we were prepared with lessons, pool gates and locks but it wasn't enough."
Amber also reminded parents everywhere to love and be present with their children, and thanked fans for their continued prayers and well-wishes. When they first shared news of River's death, Granger and Amber Smith requested that, in lieu of flowers, anyone wishing to express their sympathy should make donations to the Dell Children's Medical Center, where River was treated. The couple created a T-shirt in memory of their son, with proceeds also going to Dell Children's.
WATCH: Granger Smith Honors River With "Heaven Bound Balloons"
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