Avoid swimming accidents – children at high risk

Kids have a lot of fun in the water. But it can also be fatal for them. Photo: Helios

Velbert. Warm temperatures lure people to outdoor pools and swimming lakes. Kids love to frolic in the water. However, they should be supervised at all times as drowning is still the second most common cause of accidental death in children.

Helios Clinic Niederberg provides the following information about the risks associated with bathing fun and ways to provide first aid if the worst gets to the worst:

Even a bathtub or paddling pool can be dangerous for the offspring. Babies and young children should therefore only bathe in special bathtubs and should never be left alone. “In young children, drowning is the second leading cause of death after traffic accidents. Especially now, with the upcoming holiday season and in the summer, parents and grandparents should pay attention to this topic and be extra vigilant, “appeals Dr. Ingo Wallert, chief physician at the central emergency room.

Drowning is not a matter of water depth

Reports of drowning accidents increase every year in the summer. Young children are already threatened in shallow water, as most of them can not swim yet. Absorbed by play, the little ones come out on deeper water or fall down from the shore. Just a few inches of water depth is enough to drown. Children are often drowned in ornamental and garden ponds, large puddles, fountains or rain barrels. “Because of their high center of gravity, children who have fallen cannot just pull their legs under their bodies and get up. If they fall with their heads in the water, this triggers a kind of shock reaction, the glottis in the pharynx closes and makes breathing impossible, “reports Dr. Wallert. Experts call this” dry drowning “where children suffocate without the water entering their lungs.

Drowning is not a matter of swimming skills

Parents should not allow young children to swim unattended. Older children with seahorse marks can also easily drown: frolic, hit their head and perish in a daze, or simply from exhaustion after being in deep water for too long.

Drowning people cannot call for help

To be able to speak, the breathing must first be ensured. Because the mouth is submerged by drowning and only emerges for a moment, there is too little time to breathe out, breathe in and call for help.

Drowning people cannot wave for help

When drowning, the body stands upright in the water. The arms are instinctively stretched out to the side and pressed down to the water surface to keep the body afloat. A conscious control of the arms is not possible. Drowning children do not move at all – they do not kick, they just sink motionless to the ground like a rock. So be careful: Children playing in the water are loud and noisy – if there is silence, you should check as soon as possible.

First aid measures

  • Get the baby out of the water immediately
  • Talk to the child and check the level of consciousness
  • Immediately wrap in a blanket to maintain body temperature
  • Remove soaked clothing, keep baby warm, calm
  • If the child is unconscious, the airway should be checked and mouth-to-mouth or mouth-to-nose resuscitation (in infants) should be started immediately.
  • If no pulse can be felt, cardiopulmonary resuscitation must be performed
  • Make an emergency call and continue the steps you have taken until the rescue arrives
  • Never hold children upside down and shake them to get water out of the lungs.
  • Even if a child initially shows no worrying signs after a swimming accident, a doctor should be consulted in any case. “In some cases, complications leading to shortness of breath and fever may occur later,” says Helios.

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