Watch for these signs the next time you’re swimming with your kids or others:
- Head low in the water, mouth at water level
- Head tilted back with open mouth
- Hair over forehead or eyes
- Eyes glassy, empty and unable to focus
- Eyes closed
- Hyperventilating or gasping
- Not using legs
- Body is vertical and upright
- Trying to swim in a certain direction but not making progress
- Trying to roll over on the back
Stay Aware to Save a Life
Keep your eyes open for any oddities because even when things seem ok, they may not be. A good way to be sure is to ask your kid or the person you’re swimming with if he or she is all right. If they are rather still, do not answer or have a blank stare, then you may have less than 30 seconds to get to them! As any parent knows, kids make noise in the water. If they are not making noise, find out why and get them out of the water ASAP.
Mario Vittone is an expert on water safety and a marine safety specialist with the U.S. Coast Guard. For more information on water safety issues, check out www.facebook.com/watersafety.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of the Department of homeland Security or the U.S. Coast Guard.