Drowning Does Not Look Like Drowning
Their signs were motionless and void of any struggling or screaming. They just simply passed out.
Via itsTactical regarding instinctive drowning responses
We think we know it all too well. The common signs of someone drowning, flailing around, screaming for help. The movies portray it as such a stressful situation for all involved, including onlookers cheering on lifeguards who are rushing to save victims. But what if I told you drowning is actually silent in most cases? That there is absolutely no muscle movement involved, and the victim will usually pass out underwater before anyone even realizes they’re under…
The sad fact is that the leading cause of death or severe injury in children ages 1-4 years old is drowning. And more then half of these drownings take place in plain site, while adults are present.
It scares me to death knowing that my almost 4 year old thinks he can “swim” and has said it many times. He thinks because I allow him to float in a life jacket at public aquatic centers that he can just dive in on his own. I’ve had the discussion with him so many times that he can never swim without mommy but I am still unsure if it is hitting home. I am sure I’m not alone. We want to empower our children to learn to swim, but at the same time, we need to make sure they know the dangers of the water and when it is safe.
My now 8 year old son had taken swim lessons when he was 5 and 6 years old because he had a slight fear of water. He overcame his fear of the water, but he didn’t catch on to the technique as well as I’d hoped. He’s on the short side, and not able to touch the bottom of standard 3ft deep pools without his nose still hitting the water, so it is still difficult for him.I let him swim with friends in a family members pool as long as he is wearing his tube so that he doesn’t go under. It is still clear in my mind that even with that tube securely around his waist, I took my eye off of him for just a moment, turned back around, and another child in the pool was screaming that he went under. My heart dropped and everything went silent. I couldn’t see my son in the above ground pool he was just swimming in with the other children, and there was a boat tube flipped upside down. Without thinking, I jumped down the flight of stairs and over the side of the 4ft pool in my sun dress.Heart pounding, I pulled my son up to get air. Luckily, there was another child in there who was aware my son had gone under, and I was able to act quickly. But I cannot stop thinking, “what if he wasn’t there to yell to me”?
I didn’t hear my son go under the water. He didn’t flail, or come up screaming. In fact, he was trapped under a raft that was floating in the pool and his safety tube had flipped him upside down. I can’t stop thinking about what could have happened and what I have unfortunately seen happen to children of others. Luckily by son was okay. Shaken up, but he was okay and I think he learned a water safety lesson that day.
I just want for all others out there to realize that drowning is not always like the movies. That these water safety devices like tubes,rafts, and swimmies are never to replace adult supervision and to be aware of the REAL signs of drowning and what to do it if occurs. Make sure any other children going into a pool or body of water with others understand it’s their duty to alert others of anything in the pool such as another child going under.
Be aware, drowning doesn’t look like drowning.