We had the good fortune of connecting with Jenny Bennett and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jenny, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
Family has always been number one for me. When my son Jackson was born, I wanted to spend as much time with him as possible. I went from working full time to working part-time as an Emergency Room nurse. This gave me 5 days a week were I could focus on being “Mama”. Little did I know, I would only play that role for 18 months. I lost Jackson to a drowning accident in our backyard pool. He was supposed to be safe inside our home, playing with his sisters, but he snuck outside through our normally locked dog door and made his way to the pool. After a few minutes of being unknowingly unsupervised, I found him floating face down in the pool. We thought we were safe parents: we kept him rear facing in the car, we cut his food, we covered the electrical outlets and put gates on our stairs. Little did we know that the greatest killer of children aged 1-4 was in our backyard. Since this accident occurred, I had met so many parents with similar stories. Their toddler child had also drowned during a non-swim time, Why did I not know about this? Of course I knew drowning was a threat, but I always imagined it would happen while we were in the pool, not when he was supposed to be inside our home. I joined with others and created a national educational project called Parents Preventing Childhood Drowning. My goal with creating this group is to bring this education to parents before they experienced this tragedy. I don’t want another parent to say “I didn’t know”. To bring education to my community, as well as survival swimming lesson scholarships, I started a chapter of Swim Safe Forever, Inc. in the Northwest Houston area. So far, we have given nearly 50 children the ability to self-rescue in an aquatic emergency through swimming lessons. I do this work to honor my son and to hope that his story saves others.What should our readers know about your business?
Parents Preventing Childhood Drowning wants all parents to be empowered with the knowledge of drowning prevention, Many of us who have experienced this loss did not get any education on this matter. Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury death in children aged 1-4, yet many do not know this information. We want drowning prevention education to be a part of every well check when visiting pediatricians. We want all swimming lessons to be high-quality and to teach self-rescue skills. We want every parent to know the importance of water safety; layers of protection. We want the culture around water safety to change. Children should not be comfortable in the water or view it as fun until they are safe and have respect for the water. This is what it is going to take to end this pandemic of childhood drownings, and we are in it for the long haul.Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Houston! So much to do! But I am very much a mom…so this would be mainly family friendly. The Houston Zoo, The Downtown Aquarium and the Museum of Natural History are my favorites to take the family.The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to thank all of those in the Drowning Prevention world. We are all working so hard that not one more child drowns. Survival swim instructors, keep doing what you do best! Save those babies! Pediatricians who speak about drowning prevention with patients and families, thank you from the bottom of my heart.