Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning

This morning I woke up planning on sharing a funny Wordless Wednesday photo with you all but as I read an article on one of the blogs I read I knew I had to share it with you.

poolgroupWe have a pool and because of the age of our children (6 & 8 ) we have had many small children learn to swim here over the past 4 years. Generally speaking they begin wearing life jackets, it’s a requirement for any child who hasn’t passed our swim “test”. Our swim “test” includes swimming the length of the pool, treading water and floating. This test has to be performed 3 times throughout a day before the child “passes”.

That may make it sounds like we’ve got the safest pool in the neighborhood, but we’ve still had a few very scary situations. It takes a split second for a child to become overwhelmed in the water and we’ve had to dive in the pool to bring children to safety.

The perfect example happened the first year we had the pool and we weren’t so strict about the life jacket. A boy was in the pool with his parent practicing without his life jacket. His parent got out of the pool and instructed him to put his life jacket back on and made their way to the deck. The boy forgot he didn’t have his life jacket on and hurried to the diving board where a group of kids were doing splash contests.

I looked up when I heard my daughter yelling at him to “stop” and get his jacket but it was too late and he was flying mid-air into the pool from the diving board. My husband ran to the pool in response to my call for him and as he dove into the pool the boy bobbed at the surface, silently doggie-paddling like mad. My husband had him safely in his arms in seconds but it scared all of us and showed us how quickly drowning accidents can happen.

Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning

Please go read the article Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning, it contains concrete examples of what drowning actually looks like. Believe me when I say the TV examples don’t apply, thankfully I had years of training and a lifeguard certificate to fall back on but this article shares the real truth of how silent drowning can be.

Look for these other signs of drowning when persons are in the water:

  • 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

Source: Mario Vittone May 2010

We cannot take a chance when it comes to water safety, please educate yourselves and others before an event like this occurs.


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