Drowning Doesn't Look Like Drowning

Did you know that drowning is the second most common cause of accidental death in children ages 1-14 (second to motor vehicle accidents)?  It's true - and not only that, 90 percent of the drownings occur while under the care of an adult or teenager.  The reason why is because drowning doesn't look like drowning.

While enjoying all the summer fun in the water that Wisconsin has to offer, be on the lookout for these 8 quiet signs of trouble:

Children in water need constant supervision

  1. A drowning person can't call for help - they're having too much trouble breathing.  Their mouth sinks below and reappears above the surface of the water.
  2. A drowning person cannot wave for help - they instinctively extend their arms to the sides and press down to lift their mouth out of the water; a child may extend their arms forward.  They cannot use their arms to move toward a rescuer or reach for rescue equipment.
  3. A drowning person remains upright in the water, with no evidence of kicking.  They can struggle for only 20-6- seconds before going under.
  4. A drowning person's eyes are glassy and unable to focus, or closed.
  5. Their hair may be over their forehead or eyes.
  6. The head is low in the water, with mouth at water level; head may be tilted back with mouth open or a child's head may fall forward.
  7. A drowning person doesn't look like they're drowning - they may seem to be looking up at the sky, shore, pool deck or dock.  Ask them, "Are you alright?"  If they answer, they're probably fine; if they return a blank stare, you may have less than 30 seconds to reach them.
  8. Children playing in the water make noise - if they are quiet, you need to find out why immediately!