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;
•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.