8 Quiet Signs Someone is in Danger of Drowning

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Staying cool in the pool!

About 10 people die from unintentional drowning each day, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Out of those 10 people, two are children aged 14 or younger. Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States.

Often times, when someone is drowning, the person in danger isn’t flailing their arms or yelling for help. Reader’s Digest compiled this list of eight quiet signs of a drowning:

1. They can’t call for help: When a person is drowning, his or her mouth sinks below and reappears above the surface of the water. There isn’t time for her to exhale, inhale and call out.

2. They can’t wave for help either: A drowning person instinctively extends their arms to the sides and presses down to lift their mouth out of the water. A child may extend their arms forward. She can’t use her arms to move toward a rescuer or reach for rescue equipment.

3. They remain upright in the water: With no sign that the person is  kicking, they can struggle for only 20 to 60 seconds before going under.

4. Their eyes are glassy: Their eyes are unable to focus or close.

5. Their face may be hard to see: Their hair may be over their forehead or eyes.

6. Their head is low in the water: Their mouth is at water level, and their head may be tilted back with mouth open. A child’s head may fall forward.

7. They are quiet: Children playing in the water make noise. When they get quiet, you need to get to them to find out why.

8. They don’t seem in distress: Sometimes the most important indicator that someone is drowning is that they don’t look like they are frantic. The person may just seem to be looking up at the sky. Ask, “Are you all right?” If they can answer at all they are probably OK.

Any one of these signs alone does not mean a person is drowning. Always keep a close eye on your children or friends in the water. Anyone could be a victim of drowning in any place like a public or private pool, natural water or even a bathtub.

Click here for helpful information from the CDC including factors that increase and decrease the risk of drowning. Click here for more from Reader’s Digest.

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