Pools are usually all fun until someone appears to be losing the fight against the water current and is slowly going under.
In situations like these, the chances that somebody around possesses life-saving skills are usually invaluable to a drowning person’s survival.
In this article, we hope that you gain some knowledge on how you can help the next time you see somebody drowning.
What are the signs of drowning?
On TV, a drowning person usually appears to be fighting for their life. The arms are flailing around and the numerous ripples are incessant, signifying a struggle.
Now, that’s the easy case. Sometimes, they just go under and that’s it. No struggle, no noise, nothing whatsoever.
This is why it’s best to go to pools with lifeguards around who can easily detect signs of drowning.
If you can’t swim and there’s no one to teach you around, it’s best just to wade in the water with your legs only.
The first way to help a drowning person is getting them out of the water, of course. However, caution must be exercised.
If a child is drowning, it’s easier to jump into the pool after the child and lift the child out of the water if you’re an adult.
If an adult is drowning, it’s not so straightforward. Jumping into the pool and trying to save the person might prove fatal for both parties. The weight of the drowning person might drag the rescuer along.
Hence, be certain you know what you’re doing. Before any attempt to save, call loudly for help. It doesn’t matter if you know what to do. Scream for help!
As you’ll discover in this article, saving a drowning victim shouldn’t be attempted if you’re not extremely confident of your capability.
If the individual is now on the ground, the next step is to confirm if the person is responsive. Tap, shake, or nudge gently. If there’s no response, please commence CPR immediately.
A full guide on how to perform CPR can be found here. Do not attempt mouth-to-mouth respiration if you’re not trained to do so, please. The chest compressions are enough.
Place the heel of your hand over the middle of the chest just below the nipples, place the other hand over it and interlock your fingers. Start chest compressions at a rate of 100-120 per minute.
For a child, all you need are two fingers for the compressions.
A trained person knows that 30 compressions should be followed by 2 rescue breaths. Continue with the compressions if you’re not trained.
f a person responds, turn them over to lie on their side and let them pour out the water they’ve ingested previously. The position has to be the ‘recovery position‘.
You might need to warm them up if they’re too cold. Use as many blankets as possible for this.
If there’s no response, please continue with the chest compressions. If you get tired, someone should replace you while you wait for help.
This video provides a full demonstration of what to do on the ground for a drowning person.
Ensure the individual gets to the hospital ASAP.