What to do in case of drowning accidents?

In the scale of fatal accidents in children he directly follows the traffic accident: death by drowning! 20% of those affected are children younger than 5 years. This is mainly due to the fact that in infants and toddlers already a small depth of water sufficient to bring them into a mortal danger. Due to the so-called dive reflex, respiratory arrest may occur when the face is immersed in cold water. Another problem is that fewer and fewer children are learning to swim.

What does drowning mean?

Drowning by definition means suffocation by immersion in liquid. In drowning emergencies, the ingress of liquid or mud or vomit into the airways leads to an acute lack of oxygen, which can lead to cardiac arrest. In addition, there is often a pronounced hypothermia, which is due to the high thermal conductivity of the water. But this hypothermia can already lead to complications, such as cardiac arrhythmia.

Hypothermia also lowers the oxygen consumption of those affected. So it can be explained that the survival times extend after a cardiac arrest, eg after a break-in in the ice. In fact, there are cases in which children who have been under water for more than an hour have survived anyway.

Important: You, as a first responder, should immediately start with the first aid measures and hold out as long as possible.

What do I have to do?

  • Keep the child: Hold the child's head above the surface of the water. Pay attention to a sufficient self-protection, eg with strong current!
  • Make an emergency message. Do not leave the child alone.
  • If the child is conscious and responsive, provide it with dry, warm clothing and soothe it.
  • Breathe the child himself: Bring it in the stable side position. Make sure that there are no foreign objects (eg sand or plants) in the child's mouth.
  • Lack of breathing: Begin ventilation immediately. This procedure must be continued until breathing resumes.
  • If there is no pulse: Start immediately with the heart massage. Again, stop: when breathing and circulation work again!

Attention: Any child who has almost drowned must continue to be medically supervised. Even a short lack of oxygen can lead to organ damage that show up only after 24 to 48 hours or cause a complete organ failure (eg the lungs).

Childlike anatomy

The main reason for this is a peculiarity of the child's anatomy. Children have a heavy head in relation to their total weight, and so their center of gravity is in the chest area and not at the level of the navel, as in adults or older children. If curious children bend over the glittering water surface of the pond, or lean on the shaky plastic edge of the paddling pool, they tip over and fall into the water. Since her neck muscles are not strong enough yet, children can barely lift their heads out of the water on their own.

Therefore, the same applies to the frog pond as it does to the simple, inflatable paddling pool: It does not matter how little water is in it - children can never be played on and in the water without supervision!

Pay attention to safety at the planning stage

Protection against drowning is provided by natural barriers such as boxwood or rose hedges. Landscaped walls and gates are another, and visually appealing. Tear-resistant nets and mats are also useful, which are firmly anchored a few centimeters below the surface of the water. Over time, they put on patina and are then almost invisible. But they are even better when children fall into the water. The little ones will get wet, but they will not go under.

However, children under the age of three can not lean on steel mesh and nets. You always need supervision! Also, the pond in the neighbor's garden can harbor dangers, so gates and passageways should be secured so that they can not be opened or climbed by young children. Action The safe house

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