Drowning is an all-too-common swimming hazard that can be prevented and detected if people learn to recognize the real
signs to look out for. Unfortunately, largely because of Hollywood most people think a drowning victim will be easy to spot, flailing their arms wildly, screaming for help at the top of their lungs and thrashing about, but that is most often not the case.
The Shocking Truth of Drowning
Most people drown terrifyingly quietly, and don’t get the attention they need until it is too late. Over 700 children drown annually, and shockingly, over half
of them will be within eyeshot of a parent or guardian
who doesn’t even realize what is happening.
4 Not-So-Obvious Signs of Drowning
It is important to know what to watch out for when it comes to spotting a drowning victim. Keep a close eye on any children that are near water as it only takes a couple inches for a child to drown. Here are some of the less obvious signs
someone is in aquatic respiratory distress:
- Silence – most often a person who is drowning cannot call for help because they can’t even catch a breath – if children who are usually vocal when playing go silent, investigate as to why.
- Stillness – drowning victims are often nearly paralyzed in one position while they are struggling to surface or breathe, sometimes they may flail their arms but if someone is seriously near-drowned they may not be moving at all. Look for a person still, maybe face down near the water with an upright posture, hands may be down by their side or out in front of them.
- Facing downward – a drowning person is often faced into the water, their hair may be obstructing their face, they may appear stuck in one position.
- Unresponsive – a drowning person may appear dazed, if you wave at them and they don’t respond, they are drowning and not just spaced out - take immediate action.
Drowning Can Often Be Prevented
To prevent drowning, be sure to encourage swimming lessons to all members in your family, have lifesaving flotation devices nearby, keep a close eye on children playing in the water or swimming (remember to look for the drowning signs we outlined above), follow all pool rules and make sure your children aren’t engaging in roughhousing or dangerous horseplay
near the water.
Swimming pool fun is one of the biggest summertime perks - but there are some hazards to watch out for at public pools. Fun is fun, but safety first! Thanks for visiting EMC.