What to watch for in the water

Although the weather has turned cooler, I know a lot of families are still enjoying time at the beach or at the pool. We are so lucky to live in an area with lovely lakes, public pools, and water parks!

Soon I’ll be taking my daughter and her friend to a water park as a birthday present. Most parents are very aware that kids and water can be a dangerous combination. But often they figure it’s the life guard’s duty to watch out for signs of trouble, which would be pretty obvious, right?

Um… wrong.

Earlier this summer, a great blog post helped spread the word that drowning may not look like what we think it does. Go and read it if you haven’t yet:  Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning

People who are drowning are too focused on trying to take in air and rarely make any noise, splashes or large movements. Signs of drowning are subtle, and that’s why we have to really pay attention. Here are important signs of drowning:

  1. Head near the surface of the water; head tilted back or forward.
  2. Body upright in the water, with no kicking and very little arm movement.
  3. Eyes glassy or closed.

Not at all what we usually think of.

I have a whole new appreciation for life guards, and how hard their job really is, if they’re doing it right.

So next time you are at the pool, beach or water park, be sure to keep an eye out, now that you know what to look for. And maybe thank a life guard—just not while they are on duty!

Here’s a great summary news clip from an Albany, NY station.

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