What looks like an ordinary summer day with people having fun at a local pool is actually a life or death situation. Thanks to the trained eye and quick actions of a lifeguard, a 3-year-old girl is saved from drowning in a seemingly safe wave pool.
In this video, the child is struggling from the very beginning, although other swimmers who are within inches of her do not seem to notice. Would you have detected that she was drowning?
According to the CDC, there were 3,536 fatal unintentional, non-boating related drownings per year on average from 2005 to 2014. That comes out to approximately 10 drowning deaths every day. Twenty percent of those who die from drowning are children 14 and younger. It is the leading cause of death for children 1 to 4 years old and the second leading cause of death for people age 5 to 24. In addition, for every child who dies, five more are treated for submersion injuries.
Drowning deaths and injuries can be prevented. In most cases, drownings happen without much noise or excessive splashing. A drowning person is typically unable to call or signal for help. Knowing the signs to watch for can enable you to rescue a drowning child (or adult).
Be Present and Pay Attention
Watch your children without distractions: no phone, book, etc. A child can drown in as little as 20 seconds.
Watch Their Heads
A drowning person’s head will be low, with their mouth at water level. Eyes that are glassy, seem blank or remain closed are another sign.
Body Language Is Key
A drowning person will likely be vertical, may appear to climb an invisible ladder or try to swim without getting anywhere.
What to Do If You See Someone Drowning
If a child or adult is struggling in the water, call for help and get them out of the water immediately. If the person is not breathing, perform CPR while someone else calls 911. Seek medical attention even if the victim seems fine, as dry drowning is a serious concern.