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How To Spot Drowning? And What To Do

How To Spot Drowning? And What To Do
27 September 2019 504 Views No comments

The summer months have hit and with them brought great weather. During this time, many of us take the opportunity to go swimming either in pools or at the beach on a family day out. Unfortunately, even though swimming is a great way of getting your children to be active, these summer months often see a rise in drowning.

Do you know the signs?

Many people feel like the know what drowning looks like, we’ve all seen it on the TV right? Despite this, drowning in real-life is a very different experience

-Splashes- Usually silent
-Waving frantically- Quick
-Yelling- Often can’t call out for help

TV portrayals of drowning are vastly different to real-life, even from taking a quick glance. Here are some signs to keep an eye out for when your little ones are enjoying themselves in the water:


  • The head is low in the water with the mouth either at or below the water line.
  • The head tilted back, with the mouth open.
  • Hair hanging over the eyes – normally children would push this back.
  • Eyes appearing glassy or empty.
  • Extremely wide or tightly shut eyes.
  • Attempting to roll onto their back.
  • The body is in a near-vertical position, with little or no leg movement.
  • Gasping or hyperventilating.

What should you do if you spot these signs?

First things first, you need to get the child out of the water and onto dry, solid land.

  • If they are breathing but unconscious – call 999.
  • If spluttering and awake – this is a good sign. Keep them close and warm. Watch them over the next several days. Talk to GP if concerned. If you notice persistent coughing, trouble breathing, or extreme tiredness go to A&E, this could be a sign of secondary drowning.
  • If they’re not breathing – have someone call 999, while you perform infant CPR (ages baby to 1) or child CPR (ages 1 to 8).

Secondary drowning?

Secondary drowning occurs when even a small amount of water has entered the lungs, causing inflammation and irritation which results in difficulty breathing. To try and remedy this the body sends other fluids to the lungs to alleviate the inflammation, but this leaves little to no room in the lungs for air.

Keep an eye on your child as this can occur either a few minutes or up to three days after water first enters the lungs.

Tips for avoiding the potential of drowning

We all want our children to enjoy the water, but at the same time we want them to be as safe as possible. This can be done in many ways:

Swim Lessons: by enrolling your little one in swim lessons from as young as six weeks old you are giving them the chance to learn an essential life skill, so when they do venture into other water you know that they know how to swim.

Swim Aids: if you aren’t confident in your child’s swimming ability, then getting them to wear swimming aids such as; swim jackets or floatsuits, can put your mind at ease. Swim jackets and floatsuits provide the necessary buoyancy that they will need when swimming, keeping them up right, leaving their arms free for movement and giving both you and your child confidence in the water.

Whilst it is important to enjoy the lovely weather that the summer months bring, it is also important to keep your little ones and yourself safe when in the water.

For more tips, advice and information on staying safe in the water this summer please contact the Konfidence team on 01566 777887 or via our online form.

We are always happy to help!