CDC warns that drowning doesn't always look the way you think

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. As outdoor swimming season heats up, the Center for Disease Control warns that oftentimes drowning doesn’t look like drowning.

Out of the 750 children who will drown this year according to the CDC, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult.

Out of the 750 children who will drown this year according to the CDC, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult.

In 10% of those drownings, parents will watch it happening and have no idea it’s happening.

A lot of that is because we except yelling for help or waiving of the arms. But if a person is at the point of drowning, those movements will be practically impossible.

Making audible noise is difficult for people who are drowning because their body goes into a mode where the respiratory system fights to breathe. Speech is the secondary or overlaid function.

You can only speak if you can breathe.

And forget waving of the arms and screaming.

Nature instinctively forces a drowning person to extend their arms laterally and press down.

This is the body trying to press down on the surface of the water and lift up on the water surface to breath.

Before you send your kid to the pool spend some time with them in the water, Kelsey Boyce, a Lifeguard at Southern Hills Swim & Tennis Club, tells KY3.
“Go to the pool and play with your kid,” she explains. “Take off the puddle jumpers and the floaties and just play in the pool. It is really just an important thing to get your kid comfortable with the water.”

She also emphasized the importance of taking breaks. She recommends having your kids take a ten-minute break every hour. It’s a great time to sit and recharge or maybe grab a snack.

If you do see someone screaming for help or thrashing in the water, often times they are in distress. It’s a good time to go in or grab a lifeguard to help.