In the past four months, four young people have drowned or nearly drowned in pools even though there were adults nearby, leading us to believe that people have no idea what a drowning person looks like or sounds like.
A local news station’s investigators in Minneapolis found that parents at a local water park had their eyes glued to everything but the pool. For the news channels investigation, a swim coach taught very experienced swimmers how to look like they were drowning.
The investigators put three cameras on deck and two in the water. The divers carried cameras and heavy water safety credentials to make sure the child swimmers were safe.
The point of the experiment was to see if anyone in a busy pool would see them drown – or rather, pretend to drown.
The study found that parents didn’t notice their child was drowning because they didn’t know what to look for. Most expect head bobbing, arms up in the air, a struggle and some splashing – but that is not what drowning looks like or sounds like. Since humans nostrils point downward, the air stays inside as long as the head is upright underwater – but a struggling swimmer’s first instinct is to lean their head back. If the swimmer looks up, it would be like uncorking a bottle and the air would come out very quickly. This means that the drowning individual will have no air in their lungs to yell. That makes drowning a mostly silent event.
Not a single parent spotted the children who pretended to drown in the experiment. What the study told us is that most of the population believes that drowning is a loud, evident process and can easily be noticed. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
It’s important to always keep a close on your child when they are in or around a pool, even if they are a good swimmer.
Source: Fox 9 News
Mr. Finkelstein is the Managing Partner of Finkelstein & Partners, LLP. He has become a noted consumer activist through his representation of injured individuals against corporate wrongdoers and irresponsible parties.
An accomplished litigator, Mr. Finkelstein has represented Plaintiffs in wrongful death and catastrophic personal injury cases. He has successfully handled dozens of multi-million dollar cases.