Last week, the National Drowning Prevention Alliance published a statistic from the Total Aquatic Programming's Drowning Data that showed there were 46 registered drowning incidences in November 2021. With drowning statistics still so higher, there could be a time where you and your family are out enjoying a day at the pool or beach and recognize that someone needs help. Educating yourself and teaching your children about what to do if they see someone who needs help could not only save that person's life, it could also help ensure their own safety while helping someone in need.
Here are some tips and information you can teach your children about what to do if they notice someone who is in distress while in the water.
How to recognize someone who needs help?
There are many common signs for someone who is in distress. Knowing these signs and signals could prevent a distressed person become a fatal statistic.
Common signs of someone who is in distress are:
Who you need to call and what you need to say?
If there an ever an emergency either in the water or on land, it's important to teach your little ones who to call and what they should tell that person.
Teach your little one to call 911 if there is ever an emergency. Be sure to explain what an emergency is. We recommend teaching your children that an emergency is a situation that is a risk to your life, health, or home. We recommend you tailor this definition to meet the developmental ages of your children.
It's important to teach your little ones what they should tell the 911 operator that picks up the phone. 911 operators are trained to ask questions that will help them determine what responders are needed at the scene. By teaching your children what to tell the 911 operator, it could contribute to faster response times. Teach your children to provide the following information:
What can you do while waiting for help to arrive?
There are sometimes in which EMS has a longer response time due to the location of the incident. If your children see someone who is in need of help and know that it may take some time before EMS or a trained rescuer responds to the emergency, there are safe ways they can respond that could save a life. It's just as important to practice the following responses as it is to talk about them. Practicing these top three safest ways to respond to a water emergency will ensure their safety while helping someone in distress.
Top three safest ways to help someone in distress:
Each situation will vary and the approach you choose will be based on where the person in distress is. Regardless of the situation, it's important to remember that you should NEVER go in the water to rescue someone unless you are a certified lifeguard or rescuer. Accidents happen and we don't want you to become another fatal static while trying to help someone in need. Certified lifeguards and trained rescuers have specialized training to help them safely rescue someone in distress.
Rescuing someone who is in distress and using a reach, throw, or row approach when a trained lifeguard or rescuer is not around could save a life. If a person in distress is not rescued, they will drown. There could be a time where your children notice someone in distress. Let's teach them the tools they need to safely save a life.
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Meet Sabrina Keller,