EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

  • Learn CPR (including CPR for children) and have an emergency plan. Keep a waterproof information sheet on CPR nearby

  • CPR with breaths is still recommended for drownings.  (Current recommendations for CPR are for chest compressions only with no mouth-to-mouth EXCEPT in the case of drowning victims and prepubescent children.  You can even start mouth-to-mouth in the water and add chest compressions when you have reached dry land)

  • Use CPR immediately.  Seconds count in preventing death or brain damage.  Survival depends on rescuing the child and quickly restarting the breathing process

  • Protect the neck especially in diving incidents

  • Do not focus on water in the lungs and getting water out. Abdominal and chest thrust to get water out have not been shown to increase survival

  • Consider buying an automatic external defibrillator (AED).  When using an AED, move the victim out of standing water.  Take off any wet clothes.  Wipe and dry the chest area where the pads will go.  Open the AED. Turn it on and follow the directions

  • Once someone starts to drown the outcome is often fatal and, unlike other Injuries, survival is determined almost exclusively at the scene and depends  on two highly variable factors: how quickly the person is removed from the water and how swiftly proper resuscitation is performed

  • Have a fully charged phone nearby (but don’t use it other than for an emergency)

  • Know the signs of drowning. Drowning is silent and fast.  The person is physically not able to wave their arms or cry out

  • Drowning victims can only struggle for 20-60 seconds before submersion

  • Have rescue equipment by pools, a regulation rescue pole (also known as a shepherd’s crook) and life rings

  • The rule “Throw - Don’t Go” is true for conscious adults.  Even very good swimmers have been pulled under by a drowning victim. Tell children to never jump in to save a friend.  If a swimmer is in difficulty, throw a life ring or even a towel. Don’t jump in to save them unless necessary

  • Teach children to never go into the water to rescue a pet

  • Empty inflatable pools as well as buckets or other containers of water

  • If a child is missing, always check the pool first regardless of season

  • Three quarters of the children who drown were in the care of one or both parents

  • More than half of children who drown do so when they were not at the pool nor expected to be

Any questions or if you have additional information you think could be helpful to this page or drowning prevention in general, please do not hesitate to contact the Swim On Foundation.