Drowning: Recognizing Signs and Providing First Aid

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This article draws inspiration from CPR Educators Inc., as we strive to bring their important message to your attention.

Drowning is a leading cause of unintentional injury death in the US, claiming ten lives every day. Shockingly, children under 15 account for 20 percent of these fatalities. Even those who survive face long-term complications, with 50 percent experiencing memory issues and learning disabilities. It is essential to learn first aid for drowning and know how to respond in emergencies. Here are some tips to help you:

Recognizing the Signs of Drowning:

Silence or gasping: Drowning victims may be unable to yell for help and instead gasp for air. Look for signs of panic or fear on their faces.

Head tilted back: Victims try to avoid water entering their mouth and nose by keeping their head tilted back.

Arms pushing downward: Drowning individuals instinctively reach for something solid, mimicking pushing off a table or placing their hands on the ground.

Floating face down: If someone remains face down in a pool for more than 30 seconds, assume they need help and, if possible, reach them safely.

Failing to resurface after a dive: Failure to come up after jumping into water is a red flag for drowning.

Child out of reach: If a child is beyond arm’s reach of an adult, particularly if they are wearing floaties, they may be in distress.

Providing First Aid for Drowning:

Assess breathing and consciousness: After removing the child from the water, check if they are having difficulty breathing or are unconscious. Even if they appear fine, near-drowning episodes require emergency first aid.

Check for breathing: Place your ear near the child’s mouth and nose to detect airflow or observe chest movement.

Perform rescue breathing: Place the child on a firm surface, tilt their head back, and lift the chin slightly to open the jaw. Pinch the nose closed, create a tight seal with your mouth over theirs, and blow steadily for one second. Repeat once.

Administer chest compressions: Position the heel of your hand on the center of their chest, between the nipples, and place your other hand on top. Perform around 2-inch compressions at a rate of 30 compressions per 100 minutes.

– Continue cycles of 2 breaths and 30 compressions until help arrives.

Obtaining Pediatric First Aid Certification:

For individuals working in daycare or parents, acquiring proper training and certification in pediatric first aid is crucial. While this guide offers valuable information, enrolling in a certified course and becoming CPR certified guarantees that you possess the essential skills to administer life-saving first aid procedures effectively.

For more valuable information on life-saving treatment, visit the website of CPR Educators Inc.

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