Friday, August 17, 2012

What drowning can look like & How to prevent it

Health: What Drowning Can Look Like & How To Prevent It

By Stephanie Stahl
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Drownings happen every day, often in front of people, who don’t realize what’s happening, until it’s too late. 3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl has more on what to watch out for.

A dip in the ocean or pool can turn deadly quickly. Ten people are killed every day in accidental drowning. Experts say part of the problem is people don’t know what to look for.
Lifeguard Jackie Navarre says she always methodically scans the entire pool.
“Somebody could have slipped right down and you might not have seen it, and no one else might have,” said Jackie.

Experts say it’s not just children who don’t know how to swim. Water can be deadly for anyone.
“Drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death among Americans, said Jennifer Caudle, a family medicine doctor in Sewell. She says it can happen in seconds.
“Drowning can come in many different forms, and there’s no one way that someone drowns. This is why water safety is so important,” said Dr. Caudle.

Jackie says people have the misconception drowning looks a certain way. Actually, there’s often no drama. Jackie demonstrated. Her head bobs slowly up and down. Her mouth is above water, then below. Her arms to the side, pushing down to try to lift up out of the water. It’s the instinctive drowning response, most dangerous for children.

“Especially when they’re little, there’s no sound, it happens in a second, and very quiet, nice and silent,” said Jackie.

Wendy Roberts, a mother of three, has made sure all her children get swimming lessons. It’s the best way to guard against drowning.

Doctors say if you’re in trouble while swimming, try not to panic, instead tread water or float. If in the ocean, swim across the current, and towards shallow water.

The American College of Emergency Physicians has a new warning, that includes more recommendations to prevent drowning: Related Link.

Holiday & Seasonal

Holiday & Seasonal

Fun in the Water Can Quickly Turn Deadly

Drowning is the Fifth Leading Cause of Unintentional Injury Death in the United States

As temperatures continue to stay high this summer, more people head to beaches, pools, lakes and out on boats. The nation’s emergency physicians want everyone to get all the facts regarding unintentional drowning before you end up in the emergency department, or worse.

Every day, about 10 people die from unintentional drowning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It ranks as the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death in the United States.

“Fun in the water can turn deadly in only a matter of seconds and it can happen to anyone,” said Dr. David Seaberg, of the American College of Emergency Physicians. “While it’s impossible to predict and prevent every scenario, you can take steps to stay safe while still enjoying yourself.”

Several factors can contribute to a person drowning and obviously not all of them can be controlled. However, steps can be taken to keep a child and even an adult as safe as possible when near or in the water.
  • Supervise Young Children — They must be watched at all times when near water. It can take only a matter of seconds for a child to accidentally drown when an adult turns away.
  • .Learn to Swim — Formal swim lessons can protect people, especially young children from drowning.
  • Learn CPR — It can take paramedics several minutes to arrive. Having CPR skills often times can mean the difference between life and death or permanent brain damage.
  • The Buddy System — Swim in areas that have lifeguards on duty if possible. Always swim with a buddy.
  • Avoid Alcohol — Drinking alcohol while on a boat or swimming in the water can severely impair a person’s judgment. Never consume alcohol while supervising children.
  • Use Life Jackets — When on a boat, make sure the number of (Coast Guard approved) life jackets matches the number of passengers and that they are easily accessible. Young children should have a life vest on at all times when on a boat, or in the water. According to the CDC, potentially half of all boating deaths might be prevented with the use of life jackets.
  • Air-filled or Foam Toys Not Safety Devices — These toys are not substitutes for life jackets and are not designed to keep swimmers safe.
  • Knowing Weather Conditions — If strong winds or heavy thunderstorms and lightning roll in, get out of the water and seek shelter immediately.
  • Waves and Rip Currents — If on the beach, watch for dangerous waves and rip currents. If caught in a rip current, swim parallel to shore. Once free of the current, swim toward the shore.
“Emergency physicians sadly see plenty of drowning or near drowning cases that never should have happened in the first place,” said Dr. Seaberg. “Have fun this summer, but use common sense, stay alert, know your surroundings and use simple precautions.”

Facts about Drowning:
  • More than 3,500 people died between 2005 and 2009 from unintentional drowning, according to the CDC.
  • Around 350 additional people die each year from drowning in boating-related incidents.
  • More than half of drowning victims treated in the ER need further treatment.
  • Nonfatal drowning injuries can cause severe brain damage.
  • Nearly 80 percent of people who die from drowning are male.
  • Children ages 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rate – with most of those drowning incidents occurring in home swimming pools.

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