16 Jun 2017 Warning: Spotting Drowning Isn’t As Easy As You Think
When you hear the word drowning, the likely image to come into one’s head entails commotion. Most people think of yelling and splashing, trying to get someone’s attention for help. That is what the media portrays to you, but they are teaching you wrong. Global Rescue posted a very resourceful blog informing the public about what drowning actually looks like. In reality, drowning can go easily unnoticed. Like the blog says, “drowning doesn’t look like drowning.”
In the first few seconds of drowning, a swimmer may hit a phase of aquatic distress which is the panic that sets in. Soon after, the swimmer moves into the next phase called “Indistinctive Drowning Response”. During this time:
- The swimmer is unable to call and wave for help
- Their mouth will repeatedly go above and below the water surface
- Their body will remain upright in the water for up to a minute
It is very difficult to identify someone drowning in this stage so keep a good eye on each other!
One more important think to look out for is signs of dry and secondary drowning. Both of these occur outside of the water. In dry drowning, the water travels to the airways, causing spasms leading to difficulty breathing and even suffocation. Secondary drowning occurs due to water in the lungs causing inflammation, making it very hard for the body to transfer oxygen and carbon dioxide. If you start to notice symptoms like increased coughing, difficulty in breathing, fatigue, and throwing up, it’s best to see a doctor right away. Dry drowning shows symptoms soon after exiting the water, while secondary drowning can take up to 24 hours. Because of this, it is important to pay close attention even after swim time is over.
Although pools are a great thing to have in the summer, note that they are a liability. Drowning is the last thing you want to think of in your pool, but unfortunately it happens every day. Homeowners are responsible for injuries that occur within their pool, even in the case that the injured party did not have consent to be there. If you have a pool, be sure to check out our home insurance policy to make sure you are getting the coverage you need.
For more pool safety information, be sure to check out our blog post “10 Pool Safety Tips Everyone Should Know”!