Water safety warning: Signs of drowning aren’t what you expect

Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 6:24 AM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Summer-like temperatures are finally hitting the Red River Valley. The June 8 drowning death of a 20-year-old in Detroit Lakes, MN serves as a stark safety reminder before families head to the lake or pool.

While all F-M metro pools say they are fully staffed with lifeguards for the summer, it’s important people know the silent signs of drowning. As the second leading cause of death in children ages, one to 4-years-old, drowning doesn’t look how movies tend to portray it. Instead of a person screaming and splashing in the water, drowning is rather quiet and can happen fast.

Timing is crucial, the human instinctive drowning response can last anywhere from 30 to 60 seconds. Experts advise looking for a person’s head bobbing up and down in the water. Often, the drowning victim’s head will be tilted back with their mouth parallel to the surface of the water.

If a child is not a strong swimmer, it’s important to keep them within reach while in the water.

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