Recognize the signs of drowning for swimmer safety

By Mike Wright December 5, 2013


Earlier this year, a young boy drowned in a cruise ship pool where no lifeguards were staffed, according to CNN. The cruise organization was cited as stating that lifeguards aren’t present on-site and children under 13 required parental supervision. Commercial pool management services understand the importance of ensuring swimmer safety.

Recognizing the signs
It’s critical to familiarize yourself with the signs of drowning. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death in the nation. The organization also pointed out that accidents can occur due to a number of factors, including an inability to swim, a lack of supervision and more.

CNN reported that drowning does not look like it does on television or in movies. Whereas on-screen victims usually wave their arms and shout, real-life drowning is often silent and can go unnoticed. Victims of active drowning show discreet signs, such as being below the water level past the eyes for roughly 10 to 20 seconds. The person’s head’s tilted back in an attempt to get air, his or her mouth may be open in shock and the eyes are wide open or squeezed shut.

Though your lifeguards are trained to recognize these signs, it may be wise to educate other staff inside and outside the pool who may be essential in recognizing a potential victim. It’s important to note that drowning signs may be different depending on the person and situation. There are never too many eyes or safety precautions at a commercial pool.

Provide your staff members with the best and most in-depth training by reaching out to pool management services. These professionals are up-to-date on safety practices and are highly knowledgeable about safety procedures. Additionally, they’re aware of any other potentially dangerous situations that may occur in a pool and can give advice on these instances. Full-service pool companies offer full safety evaluations and safety action plans for your facility. Upon request, they may also offer CPR and safety training classes to local property managers or your property staff.

Teaching your employees to recognize signs of drowning will not only heighten safety precautions at your facility, it will also enable them to use these skills outside of work. Additionally, remember to always lock up and check on your pool after hours to prevent unsupervised swimming.