Untrained people (that would be YOU) often fail to recognize drowning. In this way, people often drown mere feet away from those who could rescue them. One in ten children who will drown this year will drown with their parents watching the process, not knowing what they are looking at.
The Instinctive Drowning Response – so named by Francesco A. Pia, Ph.D., is what people do to avoid actual or perceived suffocation in the water. And it does not look like most people expect. There is very little splashing, no waving, and no yelling or calls for help of any kind. To get an idea of just how quiet and undramatic from the surface drowning can be, consider this: It is the number two cause of accidental death in children, age 15 and under (just behind vehicle accidents) – of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult. In ten percent of those drownings, the adult will actually watch them do it, having no idea it is happening (source: CDC). Drowning does not look like drowning …
I’m thinking this is not woo. If you know better, please comment below.
Hat tip: Dale Husband.