Most of us would associate drowning with violent splashing and calls out for help. This, however, is rarely the case. Drowning is almost always a silent and undramatic event. So much so, that of approximately 750 children who drown annually, roughly 375 of them do so within 25 yards of a parent or another adult. It is the second-most common cause of accidental death in children ages 15 or younger. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in roughly 10 percent of drowning cases, the adult actually sees the child drown without realizing what is happening.
Knowing these 4 signs of drowning can help save a life:
1.) The mouth sinks below the water level, and then shortly comes back up. – More often than not, a drowning individual physically cannot call for help. You will see the head bobbing for air. The mouth cannot reach the surface long enough to both take a breath of air, and then speak.
2.) The arms are extended laterally or forward. – The drowning individual cannot wave or splash for help. Typically arms will push down on the water to try to push the body up.
3.) The body is upright in the water. – The drowning person will struggle on the surface of the water for 20 to 60 second intervals before going back under. The person may appear to be climbing an invisible ladder.
4.) The eyes are glassy and empty. – The eyes will not be able to focus, and may be closed. Hair may be over the eyes.
Drowning is defined as death caused by lack of oxygen within one day of a drowning accident. Because death is possible hours or days after the drowning event, it is important to visit a doctor immediately following the incident.
Here are a few swimming safety tips to reduce the chances you or someone you know will drown:
-Swim near a lifeguard. Make sure children are well supervised at all moments. Adults under the influence should also be supervised.
-Take lessons on how to swim.
-Swim using the buddy system.
-If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore until the current subsides.
-Avoid swimming while intoxicated.
-Make sure to be attached to your floating device. (For example – a life jacket, surfboard, or body board.)
-Know the depth of the water if you plan to dive.
-If you are a pool owner, make sure the pool is fenced in.
-If boating, always wear a life jacket.
-In a group setting, know who can swim well, and who cannot
Accidents do happen, but pool-related injuries can be easily avoided by taking precautions to create a safer environment for your family and friends. If you or a loved one has been involved in a swimming pool accident due to the negligence of a pool owner, the personal injury attorneys at Rutter Mills are here to help. Please call our office today at (757) 622-5000 for a free initial consultation or submit a complimentary case evaluation form online.