On Drowning (Parents: Please Read This Before Your Kids Hit the Water)
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...