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Drowning does not look like drowning

The Curry Coastal Pilot

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:

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

andbull;Head tilted back with mouth open;

andbull;Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus;

andbull;Eyes closed;

andbull;Hair over forehead or eyes;

andbull;Not using legs-vertical;

andbull;Hyperventilating or gasping;

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

andbull;Trying to roll over on the back;

andbull;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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The Curry Coastal Pilot
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Friday August 26, 2016

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