Florida’s drowning death rate among children ages 1–4 is the highest in the nation. Around 4,000 people in the U.S drown every year. These high statistics show how crucial it is for you and your child to realize when someone is in distress in the water. Drowning is preventable. Every child must learn how to swim! At AQUA, we teach our swimmers to be safer in and around water sources.
Here are the signs to watch out for if someone is struggling in the water:
- Head tilted back- Instinctively, the swimmer will be trying to keep airways clear of the water.
- Eyes glassy and empty- If their eyes are open, then they will look as if they are looking into outer space.
- Hair over forehead or eyes- They will be too busy trying to stay above water and will not be able to their hair out of the way.
- Hyperventilating or gasping- The swimmer is trying to make sure they do not lose their air supply.
- Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway- This means they are not a strong swimmer or they are tired.
- Appear to be climbing an invisible ladder- The swimmer is hoping for someone to grab onto them.
What to do if you or your child see any of the signs stated above:
- Call for emergency help- If a lifeguard is available, get their attention. If not, call 911.
- Throw, don’t go- Never just jump in after the struggling swimmer. The swimmer could accidentally pull you or your child underwater and put you/your child at risk. Throw in an object like a pool noodle, towel, kickboard, or a rope. This way the swimmer will be able to float or you/your child could pull them to the side of the wall.
- Look for signs of secondary drowning- If the swimmer is able to get out of the water without drowning, watch out for signs of secondary drowning. Secondary drowning occurs when water is trapped inside of the swimmer’s lungs and can cause them to suffocate hours later. These signs include labored breathing, lethargy, and a coughing fit that lasts for hours after the incident. If any of these signs are present, call for medical help ASAP! Although secondary drowning is rare, it is possible! Always be on the lookout.
Always pay attention to your surroundings and watch the people around you. With this knowledge, you may be able to prevent drowning from happening.
Learn how to be safer in and around water with AQUA year-round swim lessons! Create an account to schedule a FREE trial lesson www.aquaswimclub.com or call 904-775-9400