Good afternoon out there! Yesterday I shared a story of a near drowning. I felt that in the aftermath of the child's initial plunge into the water, the parents in the scenario came together pretty well in their efforts to save their son, and did so successfully. Today I would like to share stories of drownings that have occurred in different bodies of water (or in some cases, small containers), in order for us to begin to see how common sense and vigilance are the key components in keeping our children safe around all water. But first, I would like to explain the current guidelines for performing CPR. Be aware that the guidelines change from time to time. For this reason, it's a good idea to take the time each spring (prior to swim season) to enroll in a CPR class.
Due to the fact that so many people have a difficult time finding their own pulse, research has concluded that finding another's is more like a search than a rescue. For this reason, they are recommending that civilian bystanders bypass this step to better serve the victim quickly. Time is of the essence after all. So here are the ABC's of CPR:
A = Airway B = Breaths C = Circulation
Step 1) Check for breathing. To determine whether the individual is breathing, you will want to use the technique head tilt/chin lift to open the airway. This maneuver moves the tongue away from the back of the throat. With one hand on the forehead, tilt the head back. Using the other hand, lift the chin. Next, place your ear close to the victim's mouth and nose, while you watch to see if the chest is rising and falling. If you cannot hear, see or feel any signs of breathing, have someone call the paramedics at this time, while you proceed to step 2.
Step 2) Begin rescue breathing. Pinch the person's nose (so that air does not escape), and make a seal over his/her mouth with your own. Keeping the chin tilted back, blow two (2) slow breaths into the victim, watching carefully to determine that the chest is rising and falling.
Step 3) Once you have given the individual two rescue breaths, you will begin a series of thirty (30) chest compressions. By kneeling beside the individual, arms straight, fingers interlocking, directly above the victim, place the heel of the bottom hand right between the nipples, and press down with all of your body weight (about 2 inches). Do not bring your hand's heel off the person at any time you are performing the compressions.
Return to the head life/tilt chin and begin again starting with listening, feeling and hearing for the person to have started breathing. If the victim begins to cough, roll him to his side and allow him to recover. If the victim is still unresponsive, repeat these steps until he is breathing or until paramedics arrive to take over.
Keep in mind, it is almost certain that when performing CPR some ribs will be broken in the process of giving compressions. Do not be alarmed. They will heal themselves, and in the meantime, you may have saved someone's life.
The following story occured in California in 2007:
"Two children died Friday after being pulled from their family's backyard swimming pool. It was reported that a one year old and a three year old had drowned, according to fire dispatchers. The parent told the police that she had left the two alone in the backyard for a trip to the bathroom. A neighbor had heard that the children fell into the pool, after crawling through a loose bar in the wrought iron fence that enclosed the pool. Another neighbor heard the commotion and hopped the fence to retrieve the children from the pool. He then gave the children CPR before an amublance arrived. One woman, escorted out of the house that afternoon was in shock, crying, "My babies."
Can you even imagine how that woman must have felt? Having nearly lost my son to a drowning back in 1982, I can feel her pain, but she didn't just lose one child that day, she lost two.
I will have more stories tomorrow, but in the meantime, I would love to hear from anyone out there with their suggestions of what could have been done to prevent this terrible tragedy. Check out my website at: watersafewatersmart.com. Find my email, leave me your thoughts on this with your address, and I will send you a coloring booklet for your children (with instructions for performing CPR) as an aid in maintaining their safety in and around the water.
Have another beautiful fall day, and don't forget to tell your loved ones how special they are to you!
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