YMCA of Greater Kansas City
June 23, 2017
Indoor Pool at  the Paul Henson Family YMCA

Unlike what you might see in the movies, someone struggling in the water is often quiet as they try to grasp for air. 

As you head out to pools, lakes and beaches for summer swimming, be prepared to spot someone who may be at risk of drowning.

Look for these signs.:

  • The person might be bobbing up and down and not making any forward progress.
  • The person is not screaming and cannot wave for help.
  • Often the person’s head is low in the water.
  • Though it seems strange, the person will not seem to be in distress.
  • The person might seem to be staring up at the sky or at the pool deck.

What should you do if you think someone might be in distress in the water?

  • Ask “Are you all right?” If they return a blank stare, you may have less than 30 seconds to get them help.
  • Reach out to them with a pool noodle, a towel or another flotation device that they can grab on to, and then pull them to safety.

What should you do if you are in distress in the water?

  • Remain calm.
  • Float on your back.
  • Relax.

NEVER jump in to assist someone struggling in deep water. A panicked person can overpower even a strong swimmer and pull them under. Remember the motto of the Y’s Safety Around Water program -- “Reach, Throw, Don’t Go.”

The Y offers swim lessons for all ages. It’s never too late to learn how to swim. And parents can start introducing their kids to the water with Parent/Child Lessons for ages 6 months to 5 years.

Learn more and register for youth swim lessons and adult swim lessons.


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