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Experts give tips on how you can prevent drownings

Drownings can happen in a matter of seconds: Experts give tips on how you can prevent one

According to a Cleveland Clinic doctor, drownings are one of the leading causes of death for kids during the summer.

CLEVELAND — The water is a fun place to be during the summer but can quickly become a dangerous place.

Doctors say it only takes seconds for a situation in a lake, pool, pond or river to become not only dangerous, but deadly, especially for children who are not prepared.

“Water safety and drownings are one of the second or third largest causes of deaths in the summer for kids,” the Medical Director at Cleveland Clinic’s Hillcrest and Fairview Pediatric Emergency Department, Purva Grover, said.

Several incidents involving water rescues for children less than 10 years old aren’t new to Northeast Ohio.

Saturday a four-year-old Painesville boy was found unconscious in a pond. Painesville police performed CPR and cleared his airways.

“A lot of this stuff is preventable with monitoring,” Grover said.

Grover said saving a life and preventing drownings starts with something that sounds simple.

“Every child should be accounted for,” Grover said.

According to experts, many drownings happen in crowded places.

“It’s more dangerous in that way because there are more distractions,” Grover said.

Should you be a bystander to someone struggling in water or drowning, Grover urges you to call 9-1-1 and jump in to help.

“Go ahead and start, do not wait for help,” Grover said. “You put your hands in the middle of the chest the child’s and you go deep.”

The General Manger at the Fairview Goldfish Swim School, Chris Pratt, demonstrated how to help someone struggling in the water.

According to Pratt, the person aiding a struggling person, should swim behind the individual and place their hands behind their head. Then the aiding person should sticks their arms through, pulling the individual to safety. Pratt said this allows the person helping to continue to swim, without being weighed down.

Whether a child wanders into water or is there for fun, knowing how to swim can be the sole factor in staying alive, Pratt said.

“[Experts] say it’s like 90 percent decrease in chances to prevent drowning,” Pratt said. “The most important tip I can give you is to practice that at home.”

Pratt said whether you’re in the lake, where currents can be strong, or in a pool, laying on your back for up to 10 seconds to catch your breath will help if you’re struggling in the water.

Grover said another tip for swimming is to stay hydrated.

If you’re dehydrated it could cause you to become more exhausted, faster, according to Grover.

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