Swimming is a great way to cool off and have fun in the sun, but safety measures should always be taken. An adult should be within reaching distance of swimmers at all times and pool safety rules should be carefully observed. Last week, we discussed steps to prevent accidental drowning. This week, we’d like to discuss drowning prevention further by providing tips on what to do if you ever find yourself in a drowning emergency.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is a leading cause of unintentional injury death in children age 1 to 4. Most of these accidents occur in home swimming pools. Knowing how to respond in an emergency situation can save a victim’s life and prevent damage to the brain and respiratory system. If a drowning emergency does occur, it is important to act immediately.

In responding to an aquatic emergency, The Red Cross recommends quick action and immediate care. First, know how to recognize an emergency. A swimmer in distress may attempt movement, but make little or no forward progress. Active drowning victims are often vertical in the water and try to press arms down in an attempt to keep the head above water. Passive drowning victims are motionless and float below the water’s surface. Quick rescue and immediate care are vital for survival.

If someone is missing, check the water first. Reach for the victim or throw a life-saving device to the individual. Do not leave the victim. Administer CPR and rescue breathing immediately if the victim is not breathing on her own. The CDC says that “starting CPR immediately, rather than waiting for emergency personnel, can help reduce the chance of brain damage. Send another individual to call 911 or the local emergency number. Those who have come close to drowning should receive a complete medical examination. They should remain under observation for 24 hours if they inhaled water or lost consciousness to ensure that no damage was sustained by the nervous or respiratory systems.

To learn more about how to respond in an emergency situation and obtain your CPR certification, visit http://www.redcross.org/take-a-class to find a class near you.

As always, creating layers of protection is best for accidental drowning prevention. One of the first steps you can do is learn to swim. Learn more about our swim lessons  (for kids and adults!) and survival swim programs.

For more information, check out these great resources:

American Academy of Pediatrics

American Red Cross

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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Texas Swim Academy is an infant, child and adult swim lesson facility. The academy strives to introduce children to water at an early age and to fully develop their swim stroke abilities through adulthood. Children are taught life saving swim safety skills and have the option to prepare for competitive swim team. Texas Swim Academy also offers parent-child classes to grow the bond between parent and child and to provide a seamless, comfortable introduction to water for children. To learn more, please call (832) 437-6186.

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