How assured are you of your child’s ability to swim?
According to the World Health Organization, drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury and death worldwide; there's an estimated 380,000 cases per year. One might think that in a pool packed with swimmers, someone would notice if a child is drowning or struggling to stay afloat. But this isn’t often the case.
A person can drown in the few moments it takes to turn your back and grab a towel, as what happened to the boy in this video. In one moment he’s safely swimming in his floater and in the next, he flips over and falls into the water. This happens at around 10 seconds into the video.
In a mere few seconds, the lifeguard spots him, sounds her whistle and dives into action. Did you spot him faster than she did? Few will be able to.
It's not usual for people who are drowning to scream. The water gushing into their mouths makes it hard for them to call for help and the body's natural response is to conserve the air in their lungs.
Even if your child knows how to swim, it might still be wiser to keep a watchful eye on her while she’s in the water, especially if you let her swim in deeper water or in wave pools like this one where swimming becomes more difficult.
If your child hasn't taken her swimming lessons yet, you might want to consider enrolling her in a class before your next family outing. Ria Mckay, swim instructor and founder of Aqualogic Swim Co., shares her 4 tips on how you can ease your child into the water.
If your child is crying, stay in the pool and hold her. Allow her to cry while speaking in a soothing yet firm manner.
Give positive reinforcements, like "I'm helping you," "You are safe," or "Don't worry, I will not let you go."
Keep the lessons short. Lessons for children ages two to four should take about 15 to 30 minutes only. Anything longer than this is too much and the child will not be able to absorb whatever you teach her.
Sources: June 19, 2015. "If You Had Only Seconds to Spot a Drowning Child, Could You Do It?". time.com June 28, 2015. "Can You Spot the Kid Drowning in This Public Pool Before the Lifeguard Does?". popsugar.com