Drowning may not look the way you imagine

As outdoor swimming season approaches, you and your children may be counting down days to get to the lake or pool and enjoy the water. Swimming can be a great way to relax and help your family get some exercise.

While you may know that drowning is a risk, it is not something you want to think about when it is time to hit the water. The unfortunate reality is that drowning is a common cause of accidental death for children.

One of the reasons drowning statistics are so high is because the depictions on movies and TV are hugely inaccurate. Here’s what to watch for and how you can prevent an accident in the lake this summer.

The real signs of drowning

When you watch movies, a drowning victim often yells and thrashes in the water, screaming for help—in reality, drowning looks almost nothing like this. In many cases, drowning is a silent event that happens all too quickly.

Instinctively, someone who is drowning will tilt their head back for air. This may look like someone treading water, but in this case, they are struggling to stay above water.

If you notice someone in the water with their head back, ask if they are ok. Someone who is drowning will not be able to respond because their body is gasping for air.

Staying safe at the beach

One of the dangers of swimming at a busy lakeside beach is parents and chaperones who assume that others are watching. The trouble is that the other adults are thinking the same thing.

Instead of hoping that others are watching, team up with another adult and take turns so you can keep the kids safe and enjoy your day at the lake.

Also, beware of floaty toys. While these may seem like equipment to teach your child to swim, these toys often fail when a child is genuinely struggling to stay afloat.

When you know what to look for, you can help your children and the others at the pool or lake have a fun and safe day in the water.

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