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Posted in Safety Tips on June 26, 2018
A study conducted by Safe Kids Worldwide concluded that 43% of drownings happened in open waters, while 38% occur in pools. Drownings in pools have been decreasing over the years, however, drownings in open waters has been increasing. The study also suggests that 80% of children who drowned in open water are boys, with half of the fatalities occurring between the ages of 15-19.
Most people think of someone drowning when they are screaming for help and flailing their arms, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Drowning is a quick and quiet occurrence. Older kids often try to push themselves up out of the water, struggling to keep their heads above water. Younger children do not have the strength to do this and will often simply remain with their face in the water with little to no movement in their arms or legs. Because they are trying to get breaths of air between going under the water, there is no time for them to yell. It takes less than 20 seconds for a child to sink below the water’s surface. Brain damage occurs within 5 minutes of being submerged.
When swimming this summer whether in open waters or a pool, be aware of your surroundings and always keep an eye on children, especially if they are weak swimmers.