Everyone believes that they will be able to recognize when someone near them is drowning, or in seriously danger in the water, however most cases of drowning do not involve the person yelling out or waving their arms and kicking, like television has led many of us to believe. Actually, most people who are drowning are unable to make any distressed calls and are using their arms to attempt to reach the surface and therefore are not able to waive their arms outside of the water to let people know they are in serious danger.
This is a very surprising and scary thought, because we all want to believe if someone is in danger right next to us, that we would immediately notice and help that person out. Drowning is the second most common cause of accidental death in kids ages fifteen and younger. In about half of the cases of children who die as a result of accidental drowning, a parent or other adult is twenty five yards or less away from the child.
The reason that this many water and pool accidents can occur so close to an adult, is because most adults have no idea what to look for and believe that what we see on television is what drowning actually looks like. According to Slate and On Scene Magazine, someone who is drowning is rarely able to call out for help because their body is focusing on using the respiratory to breath for any second it is above water and the person is rarely above water long even to take a breath in and also yell out. Similarly, a person who is drowning is unlikely to be able to wave out for help, because their natural instinct is to push their arms down against the water to try and create leverage to keep from going underwater.
While this is a disturbing thing to learn, that all the signs we thought would be present with someone that is drowning are not usually present, there are other signs to be looking out for. aWhen a person is drowning, they usually show the following signs:
1) head low in the water and mouth at water level;
2) head tilted back and mouth open;
3) eyes closed or glassy and empty if open;
4) hair covering face;
5) not using legs;
6) gasping or hyperventilating;
7) attempting to swim in a particular direction but not getting anywhere;
8) trying unsuccessfully to roll over onto the back; and
9) appearing to be climbing a ladder
Please always watch for these signs and if you see any of them, immediately go check on the person to make sure they are not drowning. Also, an important thing to remember when watching small children in the water is that children are almost always splashing around and making a lot of noise while swimming, so if you all of a sudden do not hear any noise from the kids while they are in the water, that could be the sign of a serious problem!