Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning

Read this. Now. Especially if you’re a parent.

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. 

Read the rest at Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning.

Hat tip to Pam for pointing it out.

Time to sink or graduate

Picked this one up off of Fark, about students who can’t graduate until they prove they can swim 4 lengths of the pool, and I have to say I’m amazed.

Granted, I was raised by a man who spent four years in the Coast Guard, and who quickly taught me that learning to swim was critical to safety.

Despite a plethora of lessons when I was a kid, I also didn’t learn to swim myself until I was about 8 and my parents put a pool in the back yard. (Motivator!) I didn’t learn how to dive until I was about 13 and I’m not sure I could swim properly for four lengths myself.

But there are so many situations where knowing how to swim is critical here in the States. Too many pools, ponds, oceans, boats, etc.

If you don’t know how to swim, I urge you to learn how — especially if you plan to have kids of your own — you don’t want to be the helpless person standing on the shore while someone you love is in trouble.

And I applaud MIT and other universities for maintaining this graduation requirement.