Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Drowning Prevention Don’t Be Deceived: Recognise The Real Signs

You Think You Know Drowning Prevention But it is Deceptive

It's 44 Deg C (111.2 deg. F) and as I write this everybody is at the pool. Drowning prevention is not on their mind.

Some will be at the beach but most won't go down there till after 3PM. This is Australia after all and for the sensible, the beach is only attractive in this heat if you have enough protection from the sun.

Fortunately for me, I have finished my shift at the pool and I am very happy not to be helping to manage all those crowds. Mostly because, no matter how much they have been brought up around water, too many people don't know as much as they think they do.

Drowning Is Subtle

Drowning is a lot more subtle than people believe. That's not all their fault. Most TV and movies present a very unrealistic picture of someone drowning. We had a brand new lifeguard say once after his first rescue: "I almost didn't recognize it, the child just went under water and never even struggled". The Ultimate Guide to Swimming Safety For Kids has some very valuable information on this.

Image of a person slipping under the water: This article is about drowning prevention. Don’t be deceived: recognise the real signs
Drowning is Subtle 
Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

Then there are those that, despite the best effort of swim teachers all over the world and many other professionals, they can not get it through there heads that there is no such thing as "drown proofing".

I had a farther argue with me one day, very aggressively. He said that his child had been drown proofed and that my more than 20 years of swim teaching and life guarding didn't qualify me to say that there was no such thing. Apparently his 5 year old child could swim better than a 7 year old and he did not need to keep an eye on her because of this.

Seriously?

The Real Signs of Drowning

In his article Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning Mario Vettone gives some extremely useful information that is recognized by the US Cost Guard in their News Letter "On Scene" (can be Download Here. Goto the 16th page - the page number is actually page 14 but there are 2 cover page). If you think you know about drowning this article may change your mind.


Drowning is subtle, it is often deceptive. Never take it for granted that you or you children are safe. Swimming is a lot of fun and I really don't want to put anybody off. But I do want everybody to stay alive when doing it.

Kids Alive Rules

Swimming safely is really simple, just follow the Kids Alive Rules:
  1. Fence the pool
  2. Shut the gate
  3. Teach your kids to swim – it’s great
  4. Supervise – watch your mate and
  5. Learn how to resuscitate
Here is a video that shows a real situation. See if you can identify the person in trouble before the lifeguard gets there.If you can great. If not It's time to learn.

Enjoy the water not the drowning

Richard





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