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Continued: Dive into our water safety test

  • Article by: JILL VEJNOSKA , Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  • Last update: June 4, 2014 - 8:14 AM

A: False. Children in this age group most often drown in bathtubs, buckets or toilets, according to the American Red Cross, which suggests using safety locks on toilets and always keeping toilet lids down and bathroom doors closed. Empty buckets immediately after use, and never leave a filled bucket or bathtub unattended.

Part 2. What can happen?

Q: Drowning can occur in less than: (a) 15 minutes; (b) four minutes; (c) three minutes; (d) one minute.

A: (d) One minute

 

Q: A person who’s drowning is more likely to: (a) scream for help; (b) thrash about and wave his arms; (c) both; (d) neither.

A: (d). A swimmer in distress still might be able to stay afloat, shout and attract attention. But once a person enters the stage of active drowning, all energy is diverted to the struggle to breathe. The victim can’t call out for help, and his arms press down at his sides in an instinctive attempt to keep his head above water.

 

Q: True or false: When supervising children or other inexperienced swimmers in or around water, stand no farther than 10 feet away.

A: False. Always keep them within arm’s reach. What’s called “touch supervision” provides an added layer of protection even when there are certified lifeguards on duty. Even stronger swimmers should always “buddy swim” because distress caused by cramps, seizures or adverse weather conditions can strike without warning.

 

Q: True or false: If someone is missing, you should always check the water first.

A: True. Seconds count when a person is drowning. Have someone else make the call to 911.

Part 3: What to do

Q: True or false: If someone’s struggling in the water, always swim out to help them as fast as possible.

A: False. Certified lifeguards are trained how to conduct rescues without becoming victims themselves. Follow the Red Cross’ “Reach or Throw, Don’t Go” policy to keep yourself out of danger.

If the victim is close enough, brace yourself on the pool deck, dock or shoreline and extend a pole, paddle, tree branch — even an article of clothing — to pull the victim to safety. Or throw the victim a buoyant object with a line attached, such as a ring buoy, floating cushion or even a small cooler. And lean back from the water while pulling him into safety to make sure you don’t get yanked into the water, too.

If the water is shallow — a good rule of thumb is not over your chest — you can attempt a wading rescue. Take along something to extend your reach, and keep it between you and the victim. If possible, wear a life jacket yourself.

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