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If you spend time on or near the water then you should make sure you and your family know what to look for when people enter the water. Drowning is almost always a deceptively quiet event.

Despite what you see in the movies, there is very little splashing, no waving and no yelling or calls for help of any kind. It is the No. 2 cause of accidental death in children ages 15 and under (just behind vehicle accidents). What’s more, of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult. In some of those drownings, the adult will actually watch them do it, having no idea it was happening. Drowning doesn’t look like drowning. 

Mario Vittone, a retired U.S. Coast Guard water rescuer, said sometimes the most common indication that someone is drowning is that they don’t look like they’re drowning.

 “Drowning is not the violent, splashing call for help that most people expect,” said Vittone.

They may just look like they are treading water and looking up at the deck. One way to be sure is to ask them, “Are you all right?” If they can answer at all, they are probably OK. If they return a blank stare, you may have less than 30 seconds to get to them to safety. And parents, children playing in the water make noise. When they get quiet, you need to get to them and find out why.

During Covid-19, when many parents are working from home, it is important to carefully watch children around the backyard or apartment complex swimming pools.

Look for these other signs of drowning when persons are in the water:

Here are the things to look for to make sure someone’s not quietly drowning in plain sight, according to Vittone and other experts:

  • Head low in the water with their mouth at water level
  • Head tilted back with mouth open
  • Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
  • Eyes entirely closed
  • Hair that’s flopped over the person’s forehead or eyes
  • Not using their legs but vertical in the water
  • Hyperventilating or gasping
  • Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
  • Trying to roll over on their back without success
  • Appear to be climbing an invisible ladder

Coast Guard’s On Scene 

If a family member or loved one has been injured or has suffered a wrongful death due to pool or water-related incidences, contact an attorney who specializes in these cases to review your legal options.  We have at your disposal one of the top attorneys in the nation on pool and pool litigation in the state.  In this type of situation where you are injured, you may be entitled to compensation for damages, medical treatments, and lost wages due to the incident.  

Lawyers at Carabin Shaw help clients get the care and attention they deserve after a serious incident.  Our experienced attorneys represent people and families who have suffered catastrophic injuries and tragic wrongful deaths throughout the state of Texas.  If a loved one has been injured or worse, contact us today at (800) 862-1260.

The personal injury attorneys of Carabin Shaw provided the information herein as a community service. 


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