Would you recognize if your child was drowning just by looking at them?
Frighteningly enough the average parent has no idea what actual drowning looks like. Think about it: what do you picture when you imagine someone drowning? You imagine them splashing the waters frantically, maybe their head dipping underneath a wave only to burst again upwards and gurgle a shout for help.
The truth about drowning is a lot scarier. According to the Center for Disease Control 10% of accidental drownings that kill children under the age of 15 occur with a parent watching—completely unaware that their child was fighting for her life right in front of them.
Completely unaware because drowning is usually not as obvious as television and movies have us believe. It can be a quiet thing.
According to an article written in the Coast Guard magazine On Scene Magazine Marrio Vitone and Dr. Francesco Pia describe the instinctive drowning response as being unable to call for help writing:
“Physiologically, drowning people who are struggling on the surface of the water cannot stop drowning and perform voluntary movements such as waving for help, moving toward a rescuer, or reaching out for a piece of rescue equipment.”
Parents, if your child is playing in a pool or at the beach and suddenly becomes quiet ask to see if he’s ok. It doesn’t matter if your child looks like he’s treading water if he is unresponsive to your calls then immediately alert a lifeguard to the situation. Doing so might just save his life.
Drowning is a leading cause of preventable death of children under the age of five. Here are some quick tips to keep your family safe this summer:
- Take swim lessons and make sure your children learn how to swim – at urSwim we provide swim instruction in the comfort and convenience of your preferred location
- Always watch your children when they are in or near a pool or spa (and the bathtub)!
- Make sure to remove all toys, vacuums, etc. from pool after use – don’t want to tempt the little ones
- Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments
- Ensure diving and jumping are only done at appropriate depths and under supervision
- Always have a portable phone nearby when watching the pool in case of emergency
- Learn to perform CPR on children and adults and update those skills regularly
- Install a four-foot or taller fence around the pool and spa and use self-closing and self-latching gates; ask your neighbors to do the same at their pools.
- Install and use a lockable safety cover on your spa
- Install pool and gate alarms to alert you when children go near the water and consider underwater alarms
- Regularly remind your children and all swimmers of the pool rules!
Join us on June 18, 2015 for the World’s Largest Swim Lesson at the Holiday Inn Express – Stony Brook. urSwim will be hosting a FREE swim lesson in an effort to promote water safety awareness! Call (844) 4-URSWIM or (631) 209-POOL for more info.
Written by Marina Montes, Aquatics Director, urswim – (631) 766-9292 (c) | www.urswim.com