Drowning Incident – True Story from Yesterday

Child drowning

As a preparedness fan, I subscribe to the twitter feed of our local police force’s PIO (Public Information Officer).  One of yesterday’s notices was simple. It said that emergency personnel had responded to a drowning incident.

EMTs arrived to find the father attempting to resuscitate his 11-year-old son. The EMTs took over and revived the boy, who was taken to the hospital, expected to fully recover.

As you read that paragraph, did you create a picture in your mind? Can you imagine the desperation of the father? What if that had been YOUR child drowning? Would you know what to do in that situation?

After I read the report, I felt obliged to review how to handle drowning. Turns out that it’s NOT THE SAME as CPR for someone who has suffered a heart attack! Drowning is a problem with getting enough air, it’s not just a problem with the heart stopping. So you need to do the breathing AND the compression associated with traditional CPR.

Here’s a quick review of the steps to resuscitate a drowning child:

  1. Call 911 or appoint someone else to call. (“You, guy in the red shirt, call 911!”)
  2. Take the child out of the water.
  3. Lay child on back, check for breathing and responsiveness. (Clap. Call the kid by name.)
  4. If no breathing, START RESCUE BREATHING.  Close nose, cover child’s whole mouth, breath twice into the child and watch for chest to rise.
  5. Begin chest compression. Lean on both hands, on line between nipples. Press hard and fast. 30 presses, 2 breaths. Keep it up until professional help arrives or child begins to breath on his own.

Now this is just a quick overview. If you have any questions, or if you have small babies, please do more research. I got basic info from WEB MD – here’s the link to the full article: https://www.webmd.com/first-aid/drowning-in-children#2

And if you plan a summer outing near a big pool or the ocean, please review this blog post I wrote last year. It makes it clear that people  who are drowning don’t LOOK like they are drowning, and you might overlook the danger until it’s too late!

Every year over a dozen people drown right here in our town. I don’t know the statistics for your community, but there shouldn’t be any! Drowning is preventable.

Please be careful out there!

Your Emergency Plan Guide team

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