As a pool owner the burden of pool safety falls on your shoulders; you are the unofficial lifeguard for your pool! Having a bit of pool safety knowledge up your sleeve is a must. Today we are going to cover the topic of drowning. You have probably heard it said that drowning doesn’t look like drowning. It’s true but that begs the question what does drowning look like? Know the warning signs so you can keep your pool guests safe.
First, it is important to note that drowning is a silent killer. You must be watching for the following signs. More often than not, you will not hear the person struggling.
- Someone with their head low in the water (with their mouth at water level or lower) or a person with their head back and mouth open could be drowning.
- If a person has their eyes closed or has glassy, unfocused eyes, you should check on that person.
- Having hair over a person’s forehead or eyes could be an indication of drowning.
- Someone who is not using their legs, someone who is trying to go in a particular direction but is making no progress, or someone who looks like they are climbing an invisible ladder or even someone who is attempting to roll from their front to their back could all be victims of drowning.
- Someone who is hyperventilating, sputtering or gasping could be drowning.
All of these things could look like normal pool play, but could also be indicators of a person drowning. If you see any of these warning signs, you should check on the person immediately. It is better to be safe than sorry. On average a drowning person is only able to stay at the surface for 20-60 seconds before they will fall under the water. Quick action is a must!
It is also important to know rescue techniques and CPR. Having at least one trained adult whenever your pool is in use is a must. It is also important to have a coast guard approved flotation device in a designated place by the pool. Finally, it is vital that you discuss water safety with your children and pool guests. Having a plan in place will help immensely in the event that there is an emergency.
Every day approximately 10 people die from unintentional drowning. Knowing these signs and staying alert helps to make sure that the unthinkable doesn’t happen in your pool.