Until we get Disney’s live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid” starring Halle Bailey, the closest mermaid-obsessed kids can get to satisfying their obsessions may be to swim as one. But parents looking to buy mermaid tail swimsuits may want to heed the cautionary tale of a father who says he almost lost his daughter because of the popular swimwear accessory.
New York-based communications professional Adam Lisberg shared his harrowing experience in a Twitter thread on Thursday. His daughter Annabelle, 5, was hospitalized for almost drowning while wearing a mermaid tail swimsuit.
He told the Today Show that he and his wife had purchased the swimsuits for their two daughters, who wore them in a shallowly filled inflatable pool.
“We knew that with it blocking their feet it’s harder to kick or walk — and they knew that — but we figured (the pool) is two feet deep. Even if they sit down they can get themselves up,” Lisberg said.
She’s 5. She and her big sister Ruby, who’s 7-1/2, love mermaids. So when we got an inflatable pool for the driveway for our isolated summer, we also ordered mermaid outfits. Aren’t they cute? Two-piece swimsuits with matching tails. pic.twitter.com/N1eIsvg2Sd— Adam Lisberg (@adamlisberg) July 1, 2020
The couple supervised their daughters in the pool, taking their eyes off them only to deal with their son making a mess in their kitchen. In those moments, Annabelle decided to play “potato” and hide her entire body in the tail. Sadly, she got stuck and was found lying down unresponsive by her parents after her big sister, Ruby, pulled her out of the pool.
Fortunately, Ruby is the best big sister in the whole world. She saw Annabelle wasn’t coming up, so she pulled her head out of the water and then pulled her completely out of the pool, scary wide-open eyes and all. She guessed Annabelle was only under for about 30 seconds. 12/— Adam Lisberg (@adamlisberg) July 1, 2020
Thankfully, Annabelle survived and was immediately hosptialized. Those seconds underwater still required two days worth of medical attention.
″Even a little water in the lungs, especially if it has chlorine, can spark a delayed reaction as the body fights the injury,” Lisberg wrote on Twitter.
Annabelle spent two days in the pediatric ICU. Even a little water in the lungs, especially if it has chlorine, can spark a delayed reaction as the body fights the injury. She had a temperature and elevated pulse and breathing for almost a day after. Needed oxygen to kick it. 15/ pic.twitter.com/FIg9Dj2e01— Adam Lisberg (@adamlisberg) July 1, 2020
With almost 400 Canadians drowning every year and the Red Cross reporting that drowning is a major cause of death for kids under four, Lisberg’s story is a terrifying reminder that swimming safety requires both supervision and for kids to be able to tread water freely — that means not wearing anything that will obstruct their arms and legs, mermaid tails included. Best to leave the tails to professionals like Ariel.
With Summer here its crucial to teach your kids about safety, especially when swimming in a mermaid tail. It is not a toy and you have to be very careful. Don't ever swim in one without a monofin and do not pull it up over your arms.https://t.co/Y4bMgEw1dg— Amara (@shimmygoddess) July 3, 2020
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.