Drowning isn't like in the movies.  It's possible for loved one to drown before your eyes and you not event know it.

Slate.com printed a very worthwhile article on the subject of drowning safety last year; it is reprinted here in its entirety.  Every parent should read it before the kids get anywhere the water this summer.

We'll mention a few of the points here; again, read the article as soon as possible.

* Drowning people don't thrash, splash or call for help.  Drowning is real life is "a deceptively quiet event."  That doesn't mean thrashing is not a sign of trouble; it means that people who are technically drowning are deceptively calm and quiet.

* One way to tell is someone is drowning is to talk to them; if they don't respond, they could be in serious trouble.

* Watch for the following signs:

  • Head low in the water, mouth at water level
  • Head tilted back with mouth open
  • Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
  • Eyes closed
  • Hair over forehead or eyes
  • Not using legs—vertical
  • Hyperventilating or gasping
  • Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
  • Trying to roll over on the back
  • Appear to be climbing an invisible ladder

Read the article, by all means.  And be sure the kids can swim and are familiar with water safety principles.  A good place to start is here...

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