When it comes to kids and water, I become absolutely terrified, it probably even borders upon irrational for me.  Every year for our family vacation we spend several days at my grandpa’s lake cabin…last year, my oldest two girls, who were 8 and 6 at the time, wanted to go tubing for the first time.  Even though I went tubing many times as a child myself, upon hearing my own kids say this, my heart skipped a beat!  After some reluctance, and a few practice runs with dad on the tube, we let them give it a go by themselves (slowly, and with life jackets of course!!).  Admittedly, I was a nervous wreck the entire time.

This article, written by Mario Vittone, has been making it’s way around Facebook and other social networking sites, and since it’s appropriate for anyone who is ever near or around water (Hello!! That’s ALL of us!), I wanted to share it with all my blog readers as well.

Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning

A few snippets from the article:

…Drowning is almost always a deceptively quiet event. The waving, splashing, and yelling that dramatic conditioning (television) prepares us to look for, is rarely seen in real life.

…The Instinctive Drowning Response – so named by Francesco A. Pia, Ph.D., is what people do to avoid actual or perceived suffocation in the water. And it does not look like most people expect. There is very little splashing, no waving, and no yelling or calls for help of any kind. To get an idea of just how quiet and undramatic from the surface drowning can be, consider this: It is the number two cause of accidental death in children, age 15 and under (just behind vehicle accidents) – 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 ten percent of those drownings, the adult will actually watch them do it, having no idea it is happening (source: CDC).

A few words about Mario from his website:

Mario Vittone has nineteen years of combined military service in the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard.  His writing on maritime safety has appeared in Yachting, Salt Water Sportsman, On Scene, Lifelines, and at the Naval Safety Center’s Online Resource Site. He has also written for Reader’s Digest magazine.  He has lectured extensively on topics ranging from leadership and innovation to sea survival and immersion hypothermia.

Mario worked as an Aviation Survival Technician and helicopter rescue swimmer for the U.S. Coast Guard in New Orleans, LA and Elizabeth City, NC, flying on hundreds of search and rescue cases. He is currently working as a Marine Safety Specialist with Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads in Norfolk, VA.

Please, please, PLEASE head on over and read the full article “Drowing Doesn’t Look Like Drowning”…and please share the information with everyone you can!

You can also follow the Mario Vittone – Boating and Water Safety Facebook page here.

Be safe this summer!! :)