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Friday, July 2, 2010

The signs of drowning are deceptive.

Heather, at I'd Rather be changing diapers, posted this today, and I thought it was definitely worth reposting. Everybody should know this information! ESPECIALLY if you have kids!

I read this very interesting article today that I think everyone should know, especially those of us with kids. Drowning doesn't look like it does on television or in the movies. I have often wondered how someone could drown in a crowded pool but now I know. Drowning tends to be a quiet event with no splashing or yelling. Have you ever wondered why drowning is the 2nd leading cause of accidental death for children ages 15 and under? Did you just think it was because of neglectful parents? Think again. I now have a whole new perspective of drowning. Here is a scary statistic that was in the article- out of the approximately 750 children that will drown this year, 375 of them will die within 25 yards from a parent or adult. Do you want to know the real signs of drowning? These signs are only really for surface drownings.

* Drowning victims will be unable to call out for help, scream, or make any sound. If you are worried about someone in the water, ask them if they are okay. If they can answer, then they are ok but if they can't answer you, something is wrong.
* Drowning victims mouths will alternate between above the water and under the water. This totally blew me away; I always imagined them being under water for drownings They exhale and inhale quickly before going back under again.
* Drowning victims don't wave and thrash around. Instinctively they press their arms down on the surface of the water with their arms lateral. It helps them have leverage their bodies so they can get their mouths above water. People don't have voluntary control of their arm movements when they are drowning.
* From the beginning to the end, the victim's body will remain upright in the water. The person could have struggled 20-60 seconds on the surface of the water before submersion.

This process is called the Instinctive Drowning Response named so by Francesco A. Pia, PhD. You should still rescue people thrashing around and yelling because they are distress but they are not the only ones that should be rescued.

Look for these signs:

* Head low in the water, mouth at water level
* Head tilted back with mouth open
* Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
* Eyes closed
* Hair over forehead or eyes
* Not using legs – Vertical
* Hyperventilating or gasping
* Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
* Trying to roll over on the back
* Ladder climb, rarely out of the water.

You can read more at the original article HERE. We as parents should be diligent about watching our children when they are in water. Kids are generally loud in the pool, playing and having fun, so it makes it easier for us. If you don't hear your child, ask them if they are okay. If they are quiet players, try to keep them in a dialogue with you. There are small things but could possibly save your child's life. I know as a parent I am always watching other children around me. Don't hesitate to ask anyone around you if they are okay in the water. It is better to be safe than sorry. I am possibly over protective of my sons in the water but I worry about these things. I almost drowned once, and it is a very scary thing. If this one guy hadn't had a crush on my and been watching me, no one probably would have noticed me. I hit my head under water and knocked myself out. I'll be praying for all the little ones across the world that the word gets out about pool/water safety. Hopefully the approximately 750 kids that die a year from drowning will go down in numbers. All I can do is pray and hope.


mommalovesmee said...

following you through friendly friday...

CornWarmerz said...

Thanks for posting on this very important topic! I have re-tweeted about it @cornwarmerz.

I'm also following from Friendly Friday. :)