First Aid for Drowning
Emergency steps :
Kids are especially at risk because they’re curious and attracted to water but are not yet able to understand how dangerous it is. If your child is the victim of a near-drowning, this fast-action rescue plan can prevent a tragedy.
Surprising Drowning Hazards
Did you know that a small child can drown in as little as one to two inches of water – which is just enough to submerge her mouth and nose?
Bathtubs: Never leave a child under 4 alone in the tub or near a running bath.
Buckets and containers: A curious toddler can fall headfirst into a water-filled bucket and be unable to get out. Even a cooler filled with melting ice can be a drowning hazard.
Baby bath seats or rings: Never leave your child unattended in a bath seat – he could slip down into the water and get trapped underneath, or the ring could tip over.
Toilet bowls: Keep toilet cover down and bathroom door closed at all times. Install a toilet-cover safety latch.
Diaper pails: Make sure the top of your diaper pail fits securely and can’t be lifted off by small fingers.
Wading pools: Empty child-size pools after use and store on their sides.
In an Emergency case
Your first priority is to get a drowning child out of the water as soon as possible. If she isn’t breathing, place her on her back on a firm surface. Immediately begin rescue breathing, below, and have someone call for help. Don’t assume it’s too late to save a child’s life – even if she’s unresponsive, continue performing CPR and do not stop until medical professionals take over.
1. To open your child’s airway, gently tilt her head back with one hand, and lift her chin with the other. Put your ear to the child’s mouth and nose, and look, listen and feel for signs that she is breathing.
2. If your child doesn’t seem to be breathing
A Infants under age 1: Place your mouth over infant’s nose and lips and give two breaths, each lasting about 1 1/2 seconds. Look for the chest to rise and fall.
B Children 1 and older: Pinch child’s nose and seal your lips over her mouth. Give two slow, full breaths (1 1/2 to 2 seconds each). Wait for the chest to rise and fall before giving the second breath.
3. If the chest rises, check for a pulse (see number 4).
If the chest doesn’t rise, try again. Retilt the head, lift the child’s chin, and repeat the breaths.
4. Check for a pulse: Put two fingers on your child’s neck to the side of the Adam’s apple (for infants, feel inside the arm between the elbow and shoulder). Wait five seconds. If there is a pulse, give one breath every three seconds. Check for a pulse every minute, and continue rescue breathing until the child is breathing on her own or help arrives.
5. If you can’t find a pulse then …..
A Infants under age 1: Imagine a line between the child’s nipples, and place two fingers just below its centerpoint. Apply five half-inch chest compressions in about three seconds. After five compressions, seal your lips over your child’s mouth and nose and give one breath.
B Children 1 and older: Use the heel of your hand (both hands for a teenager or adult) to apply five quick one-inch chest compressions to the middle of the breastbone (just above where the ribs come together) in about three seconds. After five compressions, pinch your child’s nose, seal your lips over his mouth, and give one full breath.
All ages: continue the cycle of five chest compressions followed by a breath for one minute, then check for a pulse. Repeat cycle until you find a pulse or help arrives and takes over.
Note: These instructions are not a substitute for CPR training, which all parents and caretakers should have.