Drowning is a Silent Killer, 11 Signs to Watch for
Already halfway through summer vacation parents might be getting a bit lax with their supervision of their children at the pool. Most parents believe that if their kids were in danger they would scream, gasp, or flail their arms, but actually drowning is a silent killer.
In a drowning scenario there normally is not any wild splashing, waving, calling for help or making of a scene. Reports have shown that most Americans don’t notice people drowning a mere 30 yards away.
The body’s respiratory system was designed primarily for breathing, and speech secondary, therefore breathing must occur before speech can be utilized. When a person is drowning their mouth alternatively drops below the surface level of the water prohibiting the body’s respiratory system from inhaling or exhaling long enough to call for help. To try and lift their mouths above water, naturally people push their arms down laterally against the water, thus preventing them from waving for help, or moving towards a rescuer. Most abled persons are only capable of staying above water for 20 to 60 seconds before submersion.
So whether your kids are playing in the pool or swimming at the beach, here are some tips to stay safe this summer:
- Look to see if your child’s head is too low in the water with their mouth at water level
- Look to see if your child’s head is tilted back with their mouth open
- Look to see if your child’s hair is over their forehead or eyes indicating lack of hand movement ability
- Look to see if your child’s eyes are glassy, empty or unable to focus or even closed
- Look to see if your child is hyperventilating or gasping silently
- Look to see if your child is not using their legs to kick or move
- Look to see if your child’s body is vertical and upright
- Look to see if your child is attempting to swim in a certain direction but not making progress
- Look to see if your child is attempting to roll over onto their back
- Call out to your child if you suspect something is wrong, if an immediate answer is not received get help, it’s better to nag or over-check your child’s safety then fall victim to an accident
- Kids naturally make noise in the water, if they are not making noise, inquire why and remove them from the water
Currently, drowning is the leading cause of injury death for children ages 1 to 4, so it is imperative that parents are assuming the risk and taking the necessary precautions.