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Ask a Nurse: How to Prevent Drowning Accidents

Pamela is an RN, MSN/Ed.

Pamela is a mother of 6 amazing children ages 11 to 24. She is a nurse educator and loves to travel overseas to work in medical clinics and teach health-related topics to schools and communities. She has been married to her best friend, Steve, for 29 years. She has many different interests including reading, writing (NOT arithmetic!), baking, teaching, and spending time with her family. She lives in central Pennsylvania with her husband and two youngest daughters.

 

Never Look Away!

How to prevent drowning accidents

When I was a child, I saved my cousin Johnny from drowning. We were in his pool splashing and playing, when I realized he had drifted into deeper water and was sinking under. I grabbed his hair and pulled him up; by that time all the adults were screaming and took over. I always felt bad about pulling him up by the hair, but when I got older my Aunt told me it didn’t matter how I did it, just that I did it was great. I ended up pulling several more kids out of the water when they were in trouble, one more as a kid and the latest one only a few years ago when I jumped in fully clothed because no one saw the child sinking and struggling!

Have you ever been to a public pool and felt you were the only one watching any of the babies and kids?  I got so stressed out watching (and rescuing) so many kids whose moms were oblivious! The last time I went to a public pool with all my kids was when I was pregnant with my sixth child, trying to watch my own kids, and rushing to help other toddlers whose parents were not paying attention! I honestly can’t stand the stress. Some say, “don’t stress, you’re only responsible for your own kids.” Well, that doesn’t work for me. When a child is having trouble and no one seems to notice, I am gonna pull that baby out!

Did you know that death by drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for children ages 1 to 14? According to the CDC, for each child drowning death, about six children need hospitalization or emergency-department care for their near-drowning or non-fatal submersion injury.

We can’t expect lifeguards to see everyone at once, it just isn’t possible. Parents and care givers need to take responsibility for the children they care for and learn and follow safety guidelines to prevent drowning!

Here are some basic guidelines to help you:Continue reading