Vahnessa Estien and Holly Smith-Wyatt created A Rainbow for Us, a memorial website dedicated to the children who have died as a result of drowning. The focus of this site is to put faces to the drowning cases and remind people that drowning is preventable, a mission everyone should give their wholehearted support through awareness and proactivity.
every day about 10 people die from unintentional drowning, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
children ages 1-4 have the highest drowning rates
most drownings occur in home swimming pools while children were left unsupervised
a child can drown in less than 5 minutes in as little as 1 inch of water
drowning is preventable when we make it our mission to protect and keep our children safe
lack of swimming abilities
lack of barriers, such as pool fencing from gaining pool access
lack of close and constant supervision in and around water
underestimating the mobility and ability of your child
assuming someone else in the home is watching your child
always maintain constant supervision in and around any body of water even when the child has learned to swim
have your child acquire effective swimming skills
learn how to perform CPR
do not rely on arm floaties and any flotation device to protect your child
do not leave toys of any kind in the water to entice children
install and use self-closing and self-latching gates at least 4 feet 48 inches high surrounding pool area
Written by a mother who lost her precious daughter and put her grief to work, The Boy Who Could Swim stresses the importance of every child learning to swim. The boy in the story, Michael, who is inspired by her son, finds out learning to swim can have its challenges. However, he pulls through and experiences the joy and pride of being safe in the water and the fun of swimming. This book highlights the importance of children learning to swim. Vahnessa tells the story of one child’s desire to develop this skill, the challenge of learning, and the triumph of mastering it. She hopes more children will desire to swim and be safer and happier in water. The Soleila G. Estien Memorial Swim Strong Scholarship was established by Vahnessa in her daughter’s name.
Proceeds from this book help fund that scholarship.