Drowning Prevention: What Parents Need to Know
At Texas Swim Academy, we strongly focus on drowning prevention and water safety. And we’ve made it our passion to empower swimmers with the skills they need to have a safe time in the pool.
Tune to the video below to hear Yves and Larry Stewart’s story about their son Kameron, who survived a drowning accident in August 2013.
The Facts About Drowning
Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death among children, especially for infants and children under 5. Most drowning accidents occur in swimming pools, ponds, rivers, lakes, and even bathtubs. It is important to know that children can drown in even one inch of water.
Knowing how to respond in a drowning emergency situation can save a victim’s life and prevent damage to the brain and respiratory system. If drowning occurs, it’s important to act immediately.
The American Red Cross recommends knowing how to recognize the signs of drowning.
- Active drowning victims are often vertical in the water and will try to press arms down in an attempt to keep their head above water.
- Passive drowning victims are motionless and float below the water’s surface.
Other signs may signal that a child or adult is danger of drowning:
- Head low in the water, mouth at water level
- Head tilted back and mouth open
- Eyes closed or glassy, unable to focus
- Hair over forehead and eye area
- Not using legs – stance in a vertical position
- Hyperventilating or gasping for breath
- Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
- Trying to rollover on back
- Appear to be climbing invisible ladder
What to Do in a Drowning Emergency
- 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 their own. The CDC says that starting CPR immediately, rather than waiting for emergency personnel, can reduce the chance of brain damage.
- While you are with the victim, send another individual to call 911 or the local emergency number.
- Those who have come close to drowning should complete a medical examination and should remain under observation for 24 hours if they inhaled water or lost consciousness to ensure that damage was not sustained by the nervous or respiratory system.
Parents and guardians who would like to obtain CPR certification can find the nearest class here: http://www.redcross.org/ux/take-a-class
Prevent Drowning Layers of Protection
Drowning is quick and silent. Children slip under the water silently and within a matter of seconds. The best way to prevent drowning accidents from happening is by adding layers of protection.
- Close supervision at all times
- Installing barriers such as a four-foot-high, non-climbable, four-sided fence with self-closing, self-latching gates to completely surround the pool and prevent unsupervised access
- Installing alarms on doors leading to the pool area
- Installing a power safety cover
- Learning CPR and keeping telephone and safety equipment at poolside
One of the first and best steps you can take is to learn how to swim or enroll your child in a survival swim program. Learn more about our swim programs (for both children and adults) as well as the Survival Swim program here: https://texasswimacademy.com/our-programs/
The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s PoolSafely.gov is a great resource for families on drowning prevention and water safety. Visit this site for information on keeping you residential pool and spa safe and assessing kid-friendly resources for teaching your children about being safe in and around a swimming pool.
For more swimming safety resources, please visit our resources page: https://texasswimacademy.com/swimmer-resources