Some days may not feel like it, but warm weather is around the corner and with it will be long days enjoying the water. Whether you are making a trip out to the beach or going to a swimming pool, water safety is an essential part of getting ready for warmer weather.
Drowning is a silent killer that takes the lives of thousands of people each year. Contrary to what we see in movies and TV shows, drowning doesn’t always come with screaming and flailing. In reality, a drowning person is often unable to call for help or wave their arms due to the body’s instinctive response to conserve oxygen. Therefore, it is crucial to be aware of the signs of drowning and take precautions to prevent it.
Here’s what you should know about preventing drowning this summer.
Signs of drowning
Drowning can happen quickly and without warning, and it is essential to recognize the signs of drowning to save someone’s life. The signs of drowning can be subtle and may go unnoticed if you are unaware of what to look for. Here are some signs of drowning to watch for:
- Head tilted back with mouth open.
- Gasping or hyperventilating.
- Eyes glassy or closed.
- Inability to speak or make any noise.
- Arms moving in a circular motion under the water.
- Legs vertical in the water, with little or no kicking.
- Floating face-down or motionless on the surface of the water.
The importance of adult supervision
One of the most effective ways to prevent drowning is to ensure that an assigned adult is always watching the water. It is crucial to have an adult who can swim and is trained in CPR to keep an eye on children and non-swimmers while they are in or around the water. The designated adult should avoid distractions like cell phones, reading, or socializing to ensure that they are always alert.
Work together to watch the water
If you are at a gathering or event with a pool or any other water body, it is essential to work together with other adults to take turns watching the water. Designate a specific period for each person to keep a watchful eye on the children and non-swimmers while others can relax and enjoy the event. This strategy ensures that everyone gets a break and remains vigilant while keeping everyone safe.
Drowning is a preventable tragedy that can happen quickly and without warning. It is vital to know the signs of drowning and have an assigned adult watching the water to prevent it from happening. Remember, drowning doesn’t come with screaming and flailing; it is silent and can happen to anyone, anywhere. By being aware of the risks and taking precautions, we can keep ourselves and our loved ones safe in and around the water.