Pool Safety- Know What Drowning Looks Like
Drowning is not the forceful splashing of water and yelling most television screens show. It is a quiet scenario as most people do not shout when drowning. Rarely do you see the violent splashing, waving, shouting and calling for help scenarios in real life.
Facts about Drowning
Drowning is the second cause of accidental deaths in children under the age of 15 just after vehicle accidents. This explains the importance of pool safety. Unfortunately, out of the 750 kids drowning each year, about 575 drowns within 25 yards from an adult or a parent. Adults watch their kids without having an idea that they are drowning; this makes up 10% of such scenarios.
Dr. Pia, in his article, described instinctive drowning as the actions people do to avoid suffocations in water. He further stated that drowning individuals do not have the capacity to call out for help except in rare situations. The respiratory system was meant for breathing therefore speech comes second after breathing.
In a scenario where you suffocate meaning you can’t breathe, and can’t talk either. When someone is drowning, their mouth sinks below the water and reappears above it alternatively. Once the mouth appears at the surface, you can only breathe in and out then it sinks again hence no room for calling out for help.
When drowning, nature forces your arms out laterally and hold on to the water surface. You cannot wave as it is mostly presumed. Pressing on to the water surface allows your body to move so your mouth can come up to the surface for inhalation and exhalation.
Arm movement cannot be controlled by a drowning person. Voluntary movement such as reaching a rescue tool or waving cannot be performed by a drowning person. Once on the surface of the water, struggling to breathe, physiologically a drowning person cannot stop drowning.
People’s bodies remain straight in water without proof of supporting kick in the water. Drowning people can only struggle on top of water for about 20 seconds to 60 seconds unless rescued by a lifeguard. Failure to which a submersion occurs.
This should not mean that a person yelling for help doesn’t need it. Violent thrashing of water and yelling for help is a situation known as aquatic distress. People with aquatic distress cannot last long, an advantage is that they assist in their rescue as opposed to true drowning. They are in a position to reach for throw sticks and grab lifelines.
Other Signs and Symptoms of Drowning
Mouth open with head tilted back, eyes unable to focus or closed, trying to roll over with the back, being unable to use legs, not making headway while trying to swim to a direction of a pool, gasping and head low in the water are some of the signs and symptoms you should watch out for.
Sometimes, when someone is drowning, they don’t look like they are. In fact, you might think they are treading water. Without wasting time, ask them if they are okay. If they answer then they are fine, but if they don’t, they might actually be drowning. Children usually make noise in the pool, if they don’t, reach out to them and make sure everything is okay.
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