First Aid Safety For Water Activities and Swimming Pools. Could you tell the difference between an active swimmer and one who is in distress?
Because many water based emergencies happen quickly and without a lot of noise, an important skill is knowing how to recognise an emergency. A drowning victim or a distressed swimmer needs immediate help.
Active drowning victims are often vertical in the water trying to press their arms downwards at the side. This instinct does not move them forward or help them to tread water but is an attempt by them to keep the head above the surface of the water.
Whereas, a passive drowning victim is usually motionless in the water and often floating face down. A common mistake is to assume that a swimmer in distress is joking or playing around.
Responding to Aquatic Emergency
Using the right rescue equipment
- If someone is missing or cannot be accounted for, check the water first
- Reach or throw... do not go!
- Know how and when to activate the local emergency medical services
- Enroll in a water safety first aid and CPR course to be prepared and to know what to do
It's important to have access to the right reaching and throwing equipment. Examples include ring buoys and reaching poles, or you can use make-shift equipment such as a rope or a broom. If you plan to be near or in the water using water crafts, always use life jackets which should also be the proper size for each person and in good condition.
Be certain to have a mobile phone handy or have access to a nearby phone to ensure that someone can quickly call the local Emergency Medical Services in a real emergency. Try to carry a well-stocked first aid kit and ensure that you know how to use the equipment and that expiration dates have not passed.