Swimming Safety

Drowning is the third leading cause of accidental death in the United States. For children, it is the second leading cause of accidental death in school-age children, and the number one cause of death in preschoolers. (Source)

I know that in those moments of panic during my own near-drowning experience, I was not thinking clearly. If someone had tried to rescue me, there very well may have been two victims. Many would-be rescuers become victims themselves because they are not prepared. Always, always, always have a Plan B, and a Plan C is a good idea too. For example, never swim alone. The unexpected can arise and there is nobody there to help. So, Plan B would be to use the buddy-system. Plan C would be to invest $40 in your safety by buying a throw bag or some other flotation device. If your buddy gets in trouble, it is much more safe to throw a flotation device with a rope attached and pull him or her than it is to attempt to rescue the subject using direct, personal contact. This, of course, is specific to a conscious person. If the subject is already unconscious, do you know CPR? Again, be prepared. Please take several minutes to review the information below. Your life, and the life of a friend or family member, depends on it.

http://www.emergencycareforyou.org/EmergencyManual/HowToPerformCPR/Default.aspx (Note that it is highly recommended to actually take a CPR class through organizations such as the Red Cross).

It is also a good idea to be familiar with “dry drowning” (which can even happen when someone laughs while they are consuming a beverage). A sudden rush of water (or other liquid) in the throat causes the airway to snap shut, a condition known as laryngospasm. Although no additional water enters the lungs, no air enters either, so the victim dies of asphyxiation. “Delayed drowning” (sometimes called “secondary drowning”) is also very serious and everyone, especially parents, should know the symptoms. There is some confusion about dry drowning versus delayed drowning, and this Snopes article does a good job of differentiating between the two.

http://voices.yahoo.com/dry-drowning-parents-know-three-warning-1537837.html (note that technically this is delayed drowning, not dry drowning)

Finally, despite the fact that drowning is the third leading cause of accidental death in the United States, it seemed (to me at least) that web info was less prevalent than is should be. If you know of a helpful link that relates to any of the above information, please use the contact form to send it to me.