Sometimes our mind misinterprets what it perceives. Take drowning for example. T.V and movies lead us to believe drowning appears as a person waiving arms wildly and screaming for help. In reality, drowning is more likely a quiet event without warnings. Here is why:

  1. Most drowning victims are unable to scream for help. The respiratory system was made primarily for breathing, not speech. And, with little access to oxygen to breath, there is less to speak with.
  2. Drowning victims cannot gesture for help. Instead victims instinctively press down on water’s surface to raise the mouth to breathe.
  3. Most non-swimmer drowning victims can only struggle on the water’s surface for 30 to 60 seconds before submersion. After then, the face softens, eyes close, mouth falls open and sound stops.

Signs of drowning

  • Eyes Shut or open, glassy and un-focused
  • Mouth opens, low in water
  • Head droops down
  • Hair over forehead or eyes
  • Unsuccessful swimming effort
  • Difficulty breathing

Sometimes drowning does not look like drowning. Drowning is frequently perceived as treading water. If you aren’t sure, ask, “Are you okay?” Any answer is a good sign; a blank stare is not. Act quickly. You may have less than 30 seconds to save a life.