All the Ways It’s Possible to Drown and the Signs to Look For

33. Don’t Swim When You Feel Ill If you are not feeling well, the best thing to do is not get into the water. First off,… Trista - August 14, 2019

33. Don’t Swim When You Feel Ill

If you are not feeling well, the best thing to do is not get into the water. First off, nobody wants to swim in the water after someone has vomited in it. But on a more critical note, if you are feeling ill, you are at a much higher risk of drowning.

Only swim when you are feeling well and alert enough to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Remember that if you begin to feel sick while you are in the water, you may drown before you are able to get help.


34. Check the Depth of the Water Before Getting In

You may assume that the water is eight feet deep when it is actually three feet, so decide what you will dive in — bad idea. Or you may think that the water is shallow when it is actually quite deep, so don’t hold your breath and prepare for a trip down.

Before getting into the water, always check to make sure how deep it is. If you are in a natural source of water, like a lake or the ocean, you may not always be aware of how deep it is. In these cases, the best option is to remain around other people and don’t go out further than where others have gone.


35. Never Swim in Rough Water

If you are out at the beach, there are few things more fun than playing in the waves as the tide comes in. However, if the water becomes rough – especially if the beach flags are orange or above – do not try to swim in the water.

If you were planning for a beautiful beach day, but the water is too rough, make a trip to a swimming pool instead. It may not be what you had hoped for, but swimming in the ocean when the water is rough puts you and those with you at a heightened risk of drowning.


36. Be Aware of Rip Tides

Riptides are the underwater currents that happen when the tide pulls back from the shore. Many people who drown while swimming in the ocean are carried far from shore by rip tides and are unable to get to safety.

If there are strong rip tides, then you probably want to avoid swimming in the ocean altogether that day. If you ever do get caught in a riptide, do not resist it. Fighting the riptide will wear you out so that you will not be able to swim to safety. Let the riptide carry you out, and then swim back to the shore after it has loosened its grip on you.


37. Never Horseplay Near Water

Chicken fights – when two people wrestle while on other people’s shoulders – may be a lot of fun. They are also easy ways to drown. Most lifeguards nowadays will not permit chicken fights in the water, and for good reason.

Never run around a pool, and never allow children to do so. The slippery ground around a pool can cause you to slip and fall into the water unprepared. If the water is shallow, you can hit your head. If the water is deep, you may go under and not be able to get up. Either way, you are at a heightened risk of drowning.


38. Always Call For Help If Someone Drowns

Remember that not all drowning episodes result in death. If someone had to be rescued from the water, he or she might have water in the lungs, which can cause life-threatening damage, even after the rescue.

Make sure that you call for help or take the drowning victim immediately to the hospital to be examined. This is especially important if the victim was a child, as the child can experience secondary drowning and die unexpectedly days later.

Credit: Raging Waves

39. Make Sure That Filters and Other Suction Devices Are in Safe Places

Many children have drowned because a foot or other part of their bodies became trapped in the pool filter. Even when the lifeguard tried to help them, they were submerged so far underwater and trapped in a suctioning device, so they were unable to be rescued.

To prevent this situation, make sure that filters and other suction devices are installed correctly in a location that will not pose a threat. Even if hair gets caught in one of these devices, the person’s head can become submerged and cause drowning. When in doubt, have an expert come in and look at your pool devices.


40. Always Swim Safely

Swimming safely means being aware of your abilities and the abilities of the other people that you are with. Make sure that the pool you are in is not overcrowded, as the lifeguard may not be able to see you if you go into distress.

Make sure that you and the people you are with follow the lifeguard’s instructions. Whenever possible, swim in clear water, as the lifeguard or other people in your group will be able to see more clearly if you or someone else is in distress. Make sure that you enjoy your time in the water and that it does not end in disaster for anyone.