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Child Drownings: Adult Responsibility Around Water 2

20 Seconds of Terror!!!!

TV in Melbourne Australia has been airing advertisements about keeping close supervision on children near water. Children Drown in 20 seconds!

Picture of a child falling head first face down into the pool. Child drowning around water and our responsibility.
20 Second Drowning

Viewed from underwater, looking up to the sky with a digital clock counting up to 20 seconds, it is a very powerful ad.

20 Seconds is all it takes for a child to drown is what the announcer says.

This add is so effective and it just promoted me to draw peoples attention, again, to how desperately important it is to watch your children near the water.

Wait... Get Your Lesson Plans Here

As pool lifeguard, it is the least pleasurable part of my job to have to confront Stupid parents that think it is OK to let their 5-year-old do dog paddle in the deep end without them being in the water supervising them.

Sensible people would be aghast to hear the dumb, dumb and dumber responses lifeguards are given when they insist that a child of that age and that skill level is not safe in the water without direct "arms-length" supervision. Not to mention the abuse you get when you enforce such rules.

Definition of Supervision

An don't get me started on the definition of supervision we are given. A parent, 15 meters away, reading a newspaper "but I am supervising" she said. It sometimes takes all my strength not to kick their backside all the way into the pool to get their child out. Give me all the abuse you like lady, I feel good about the fact that I possibly saved your child from the morgue today.

I just want to clarify something, however. In a post I made some time ago where I was ranting just as vehemently called "Child Drownings - Responsibility Around Water" I said that it only takes 4 seconds for a child to drown. Was I wrong? No!

If we were going to spit hairs we could say that even the add,, that I have been praising is wrong in that clinical death takes up to 7 min sometimes more. But once a child has breathed in water the likelihood of getting that water out and reviving them diminished dramatically. The add is based on the assumption that a child could normally only hold their breath for 20 seconds.

Consider This

Consider this: a child falls into 2 in (about 4cm) of water, its cold, they get a shock, they don't hold their breath but suck in a full lung of water. This all takes 4 seconds.

But in the end, does it matter? Just watch your children "like a hawk" around water.

To do anything else is just plain STUPID!


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