Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning
gCaptain has an excellent article that they publish every Memorial Day weekend titled “Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning”. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) approximately 3,900 people drown in the United States each year. Many of these people are just yards from people that could save them.
The major risk factors in drowning are:
- Lack of Swimming Ability
- Lack of Barrierssuch as pool fencing
- Lack of Close Supervision
- Failure to Wear Life Jackets
- Alcohol Use
- Seizure Disorders
The gCaptain article discusses “Instinctive Drowning Response” – which is a medical term used to describe how an individual acts when they are drowning – they cannot waive their arms, they cannot yell, there is very little splashing. This is in stark contrast to the image that most people have – so they don’t recognize the signs of someone that is in the process of drowning.
As we begin the summer swimming season, I highly recommend that you read this article so that you can be aware if someone is in danger of drowning. If you see it – try to get a trained lifeguard to respond. If there isn’t a lifeguard available – then remember the American Red Cross priority – Reach – Throw – Go. Reach the drowning victim with a pole, oar, or other object. Throw an object to them such as a PFD tied to a rope. As a last alternative – Go yourself if you are a strong swimmer. You don’t want them to make you an additional victim by pulling you under.
The gCaptain article is at this link.
Have a safe summer.
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