Each year, drowned child makes 500 victims, including 15% of children under 6 years old. Drowning : what is it and how limit the risks ? Our advices.
Children drowning in brief
Caused by flooding of the airway, child drowning can occur as soon as a small amount of water is swallowed. A child in the pool who not swim can therefore quickly drown. The child, when drowning, covers 4 phases:
– A first phase of panic, “aqua stress”, he beats the water with his arms to try to rise to the surface. This phase may go unnoticed : witnesses may think it plays.
– A second phase, “small hypoxia,” during which he begins to inhale water
– A third step, “big hypoxia” completely exhausted, he has inhaled a lot of water and loses consciousness.
– A fourth phase, “anoxia” in which the child drowned stops breathing.
Drowning : can also be caused by hydrocution : a temperature difference between the skin and water. This shock can affect a loss of knowledge that can lead to drowning.
Whatever the process, it takes only few minutes to drown. This is why we have to be extremely vigilant when a child is near water.
Prevent children from drowning
Near the sea, a lake or a pool, a young child should always be supervised by an adult, especially if the child can not swim. Several reflexes help prevent risks :
– never leave a child alone near water
– swim with him
– designate a responsible adult for supervision
– explain to children the dangers of swimming
– near water, equip the child with armbands
– avoid alcohol when monitoring a child who bathes