Summer is the best time for us to go to the beach. Taking a swimming class is also a good idea to enhance our health, increase the body’s immune system. But not everyone knows how to keep them safe from the chances of drowning, especially young children. Even if a child is able to swim, he may be at risk. As parents, we should learn some safety tips and teach our children how to enjoy their time at the pool or beach safely.
What is drowning?
Drowning is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a respiratory impairment from being in or under a liquid. It is further categorized by outcome into death, ongoing health problems and no ongoing health problems. Drowning commonly occur silently and rapidly in less than 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) of the water.
How to recognize a child is drowning:
To avoid accidental drowning, remember some signs that a child is in trouble.
The first sign of drowning child is that he cannot call for help. He has to be able to breathe before speaking. When you see a child drowning, his mouth sinks below and reappears above the surface of the water. He does not have time to inhale, exhale and callout.
The second sign is a child cannot wave for help. To lift his mouth out of the water, he usually extends his arms to the sides and presses down. He cannot use his arms to move toward a rescuer or reach for rescue equipment.
The third sign is that a child is suddenly quiet. Children are obstreperous when they are playing in the water. If they get quiet, you need to get to them and find out why.
The last sign is a child seems in distress. Occasionally, the most important sign that someone is drowning is that it doesn’t seem like he’s drowning. He may just seem to be looking up somewhere. Ask him, “Are you all right?” If he can answer it, he is probably fine. If he returns a blank stare, you have to get to him right away in less than 30 seconds.
How to treat a drowning child:
The first thing you have to call someone for help. Report to a lifeguard. But if he is not there, call 911 immediately. While waiting for the ambulance, you should take a person out of the water as quickly as possible. Place your ear next to the person’s mouth and nose. If you feel the air on your cheek, the person is still breathing. Check if the person’s chest is moving. Then check the person’s pulse for ten seconds. If there is no pulse, you have to start CPR. Place the person on back carefully. After that, you must place the heel of one hand on the center of the chest at the nipple line. You can also push with one hand on top of the other. For an infant, place two fingers on the breastbone. Next, you have to press down about 2 inches and make sure not to press on ribs. For an infant, press down about 1 and 1/2 inches and make sure not to press on the end of the breastbone. You should do 30 chest compressions at the rate of 100 per minute or more. Let the chest rise completely between pushes. Finally, check to see if the person has started breathing.
If the person is still not breathing, repeat it again. Now you can open the airway by tilting the head back and lifting the chin. Then you pinch the nose of the victim closed. This step is very important: take a normal breath, cover the victim’s mouth with yours to create an airtight seal, and then give 2 one-second breaths as you watch for the chest to rise. Give 2 breaths followed by 30 chest compressions. You should continue this cycle of 30 compressions and 2 breaths until the person starts breathing or emergency help arrives.
How to prevent drowning in children:
Your child should enter a CPR training class. If you cannot afford the class, you can let him learn some life-saving skills online. Make sure your children wear life jackets in and around natural bodies of water, such as lakes or the ocean, even if they know how to swim. Life jackets are also necessary for weaker swimmers. When your children are in or near water (including bathtubs), closely supervise them all the time. Because drowning occurs fast and quietly, adults watching kids in or near water should avoid distracting activities like playing cards, reading books, talking on the phone.
There are also other things we can do to avoid accidental drowning. You have to be prepared for all the situations that may happen to your children.
Review Date: January 4, 2017 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017
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