Parents often think they know what drowning looks like: arms flailing, voice screaming, and lots of water splashing. It’s what movies and television shows have been portraying. The truth is this isn’t the accurate picture of what drowning is. Drowning is a silent struggle. That’s why you need to increase safety measures when letting your kids out into the water.
When it Doesn’t Look Like Drowning
The scary reality about drowning is that it doesn’t look bad on the surface. Experts say that when people struggle in the water, they won’t be able to speak, much less shout for help. That’s because they’re unable to maintain their airway. Their mouths dip below the water and reappear every now and then just to gasp for air, leaving no chance to call out for help.
As this happens, they wouldn’t be able to wave their hands in the way that would be visible. Instead, they would instinctively put their arms out to the side or front to push themselves upward to the surface so they could breathe. They wouldn’t be able to kick and their eyes would look glassy. From afar, you would see their heads going up and down the surface of the water. A quiet struggle.
The Need for Better Safety Measures
Given drowning’s silent nature, parents would have to improve safety measures, especially those who have pools in their yard. Drowning can take place in a matter of seconds — when you’ve just taken a quick phone call or let the patio doors open for a while, even when it’s not swimming time. Kids can sneak in to your yard without your knowledge.
For this reason, install a DIY pool fence in your yard to make sure that your kids won’t be able to access the pool area without you knowing. Self-latching gates can also help. Add a pool cover and don’t leave pool toys in the area, as this might prompt kids to get them when you’re not around.
When you have backyard parties with neighbors and friends, assign a watcher who will closely monitor the kids playing in the pool. This watcher should be within arm’s reach of kids, so they can respond easily to drowning incidents. It’s also best to have at least one adult who’s experienced at giving CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).
Contrary to what you see on television, drowning is a silent struggle. Prevent this tragedy from happening in your own home by increasing safety measures.