With summer coming, you and/or people you love may be spending more time around the water. Today’s tip, in the summer spirit, is all about water safety. Did you know that “drowning doesn’t look like drowning”?
In a great and evergreen write-up for Soundings, author Mario Vittone makes that point emphatically, noting that despite what many people think, “When someone is drowning there is very little splashing, and no waving or yelling or calling for help of any kind.” Drowning doesn’t look like drowning as it’s often depicted on TV and in movies, he says, and as a parent especially, you need to know that so that you can identify signs of real-life drowning when they show. “Of the approximately 750 children who will drown [in 2019], about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult. In 10 percent of those drownings, the adult will actually watch them do it, having no idea it is happening.”
When someone is drowning or in danger of drowning, here are the signs Vittone says to look for:
- 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
- Hyperventilating or gasping
- Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
- Trying to roll over onto the back
- Appears to be climbing an invisible ladder
Stay safe this summer. For more on water safety, see:
- Drowning Prevention & Water Safety from the USSSA
- What You Need to Know About Dry Drowning
- The Wristband That Can Save You From Drowning
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