Accidental death by drowning is the leading cause of death in children under 5 years old in the U.S. And the drowning rates are highest among 1 to 2 year olds! This is a tough topic but one we can all learn from.
Stories and lists abound on “water safety rules” and “boating safety” but there is 1 critical area NOT emphasized enough and that’s recognizing the signs of drowning. I learned a lot researching this blog and it reconfirmed the fact that I almost drowned as a 10 year old in a neighbor’s pool. I’m thankful for my girlfriend’s older sister who saw the look on my face as I was struggling and she lifted me to the side of the pool. As you’ll see, looking at the faces of those in the water can signal someone is in trouble.
Swimming pools are the number one drowning risk for preschoolers. Children tend to slip silently into the water when they drown. They do not usually splash or make a sound. A child can drown silently within 30 seconds. Read more from the University of Michigan Water and Pool Safety So whether you’re a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle you need to learn what drowning is all about so you can help someone someday.
WHAT DOES DROWNING LOOK LIKE?
Learning the signs of drowning can be a real eye opener. It’s not someone screaming with arms slapping the water. On the contrary, someone drowning is struggling for each breath. In a crowded pool or beach area, they could be right next to you. According to USA Today article, some signs of active drowning are:
- Silence – when you’re struggling to breathe there won’t be screaming
- Head tilted back – the body might be vertical with the head tilted to clear the airways
- Arms moving downward – as if to push themselves up
- Floating face-down – if someone is in this position for longer than 30 seconds, they need help
Here are several short videos (all less than 4 minutes) that show signs of drowning. All are worth watching.
Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning from CBS features a former US. Coast Guard and water safety expert on the subject.
And this video from the beach shows what passive drowning looks like thanks to a Baltimore TV station.
Even if your child is a good swimmer, you need to see this short video from an ABC station with a real life story.
And one final video signs of drowning
As alarming as the videos can be, hopefully you’ll find this informative and useful to keep your family and mine safe around water. Here’s a link on teaching babies and toddlers to swim.
Until Next Time!
About the Author: Michele Redmon is the owner of I.C.O.E. Bracelets. She loves the peace of mind these bracelets provide to parents, grandparents and children. With customer service a priority, she loves talking to her customers so drop her a line at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.