When it comes to summer in Britain we have to grab every second as we never know when it will be gone again. The first sign of that yellow circle and we all dash for the paddling pools and bbq’s.
In all the excitement Safety and ‘what if’s’ can be tucked at the back of our mind. When it comes to water you can't afford to forget the dangers that it can present. You can drown in only 2cm, yes 2cm of water! Shocking right!
Prevention of drowning really is common sense however we all need a little reminder from time to time:
At home and in the garden:
Always use self-closing gates, fences and locks to prevent children from gaining access
to pools of water, ponds, paddling pools etc.
Securely cover all water storage tanks, drains and ponds.
Empty paddling pools and buckets as soon as they have been used. Always turn paddling pools upside down once empty.
Always supervise children near water, even in the bath (never leave children unattended). Empty the water as soon as possible after use.
Take extra vigilance around vulnerable adults and people who suffer from sudden seizures.
Trip to the beach:
While at the beach, never let your young children out of your reach –supervision is the key to preventing serious accidents
Always check where the nearest lifeguard station is
Do not swim near or dive from rocks, piers, breakwater and coral
Check on the water safety signs for that day, as well as knowing the times of tides – for pictures on signs see the ROSPA website http://www.rospa.com/leisure-safety/water/advice/signs/
Inflatable toys and boats are a well-known hazard – there is a risk of being blown out to sea. Do not use them in open water.
Signs of drowning:
Many people think that a drowning person thrashes around in the water waving their arms and shouting, however in reality this is not the case. Drowning normally happens quickly and quietly and a person is quiet and not usually drawing attention to themselves.
Head low in the water, mouth at water level
Head tilted back with mouth open
Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
Hair over forehead or eyes
Not using legs—vertical
Hyperventilating or gasping
Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
Trying to roll over on the back
Appear to be climbing an invisible ladder
Here is a short video on what to look out for:
What do I do if I see someone drowning:
Firstly, and most importantly, don’t become a casualty yourself!
Do not put yourself at risk and use anything you can to get them out of the water.
Once out of the water you must act quickly to help get oxygen to their brain and organs.
Try to wake the casualty. If they don’t show any signs of consciousness…
Lie them on their back and tilt their chin and head backwards to help clear their airway. This could be enough to get them to start breathing.
If there is no sign of breath then proceed with 5 rescue breaths.
After you have done the 5 resuce breaths start CPR.If you are on your own, then once you’ve done 5 rescue breaths and one minute of CPR you can take the time to call for help .
Hopefully you will have helped get some oxygen to their brain. But as soon as you have called for help, continue:
30 chest compressions followed by 2 rescue breaths over and over again until they start breathing normally or help arrives (if there’s more than one of you then take it in turns).
If the casualty is breathing then place them in the recovery position.
Anyone that has experienced drowning and recovered or near drowning MUST seek immediate medical attention as there is a risk of secondary drowning (dry water drowning)
When it comes to drowning time really is of the essense. A person can drown in 20-60 seconds!
Enjoy your summer holidays safely and remember that prevention is better than the cure! if you feel that you would benefit from a First Aid course then give us a ring and we will be able to help 01362 667795.