How to prevent your child from drowning

(Photo: WKRN)

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Many people in East Tennessee see Memorial Day Weekend as the unofficial start of summer.

There will be many pools opening for the season. Drowning is the leading cause of death for young children, according to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Ryan Redman says prevention is key.

  • Swimming lessons can help your child, but it is not drown-proof.
  • Never leave a child alone. ETCH says many children drown when adults are not around. Drowning can be silent. When you are at a pool party, have at parents be assigned to be pool watchers.
  • Make sure your door or gate is child proof.
  • Always wear a life jacket when swimming around or riding a boat.
  • Know CPR.

Since drowning is a silent killer, know the warning signs.

  • Head low in water, mouth at water level
  • Head tilted back with mouth open
  • Eyes glassy, not able to focus
  • hyperventilating or gasping
  • not using legs (vertical)

Also, children can nearly drown. This means if a child almost died from not being able to breathe underwater (ex: suffocating). Make sure a child receives medical attention immediately if rescued.

  • Recovery depends on how long the child was deprived of oxygen. There could be damage to the lungs, heart or brain.

Delayed drowning is when a child almost drowned but dies hours later. It happens when the water has started filling the lungs. Seek medical attention if the child was unconscious, had trouble breathing or needed CPR.


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