Along with this week’s post about staying safe in the summer heat, comes a reminder post about ensuring you are safe IN THE WATER. The images about Water Safety go viral every summer season and I’m hoping they go viral again this week, at least in Switzerland, in anticipation of this week’s hot weather.
The Instinctive Drowning Response – so named by Francesco A. Pia, Ph.D., is what people do to avoid actual or perceived suffocation in the water. There is very little splashing, no waving, and no yelling or calls for help of any kind. Drowning, instead, is Silent, Unmoving, easily missed.
With this said, to get an idea of just how quiet and undramatic from the surface drowning can be, consider this: It is the number two cause of accidental death in children, age 15 and under (just behind vehicle accidents) – of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult. In ten percent of those drownings, the adult will actually watch them do it, having no idea it is happening (source: CDC).
So stay close to your kids, make sure you can see them. And be careful of hot bodies and COLD water (such as jumping from a hot boat to cold lake water). Another combination that can have awful consequences.