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Drowning does not look like drowning

The summer swimming season at area pools, rivers and the ocean is here and with it comes the increased chance of drowning.

There are a few things people, especially parents of young children, can do to prevent such a tragedy.

First, keep an eye on those in the water at all times, and second, know the signs of drowning (they are not what you think).

A drowning victim does not violently splash the water and scream for help as is often portrayed in TV shows. It a quiet, undramatic display that goes unnoticed by most untrained people, according to the American Red Cross. 

Look for the following signs of drowning:

•Head low in the water, mouth at water level;

•Head tilted back with mouth open;

•Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus;

•Eyes closed;

•Hair over forehead or eyes;

•Not using legs—vertical;

•Hyperventilating or gasping;

•Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway;

•Trying to roll over on the back;

•Appear to be climbing an invisible ladder;

Sometimes the most common indication that someone is drowning is that they don’t look like they’re drowning.

And parents, when your children are swimming and suddenly become quiet — get to them and find out why. Ask them if they are all right. If they just give you a blank stare, you may have less than 30 seconds to get to them.


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