Family Health Magazine - MODERN LIVING
Swim to Survive
A life skill for everyone
Most people who drown had no intention of going into the water. For swimmers and non-swimmers alike, immersion is sudden, unexpected, and often silent. Lifesaving Society research shows that most drowning occurs within two to 15 metres of safety. For this reason, everybody must have basic swim survival skills and training.
It's as easy as 1 - 2 - 3 to learn:
Roll into deep water, which imitates a fall into water.
Tread water for one minute, allowing time to get a good breath of air.
Swim 50 metres in any way that gets you to safety.
Follow the steps
- Performing a forward or side roll into deep water while using both arms to protect the head helps you orient yourself at the surface after falling in unexpectedly.
- The ability to tread water – moving your arms and legs together to keep your head and shoulders above the water's surface – protects your airway and gives you time to gain control of your breathing.
- Achieving the 50-metre distance standard means that your swim skills will likely get you to safety and overcome problems caused by clothing or cold water.
Done in sequence, these three basic skills provide the essential swimming ability to survive an unexpected fall into deep water. Make certain you and every member of your family learn the three Swim to Survive skills.
Lifesaving Society research also found that 84 per cent of boaters who drowned did not wear a lifejacket or PFD (personal flotation device). More than a quarter did not bring it with them in the boat.
Lifejackets are not just for boating! While everyone knows they should wear a lifejacket while boating, they also save lives when:
- workers fall into the water while on the job.
- adults lose track of small children playing near water.
Lifejackets are a great tool to use when teaching children to Swim to Survive.
While effort is made to reflect accepted medical knowledge and practice, articles in Family Health Online should not be relied upon for the treatment or management of any specified medical problem or concern and Family Health accepts no liability for reliance on the articles. For proper diagnosis and care, you should always consult your family physician promptly. © Copyright 2015, Family Health Magazine, a special publication of the Edmonton Journal, a division of Postmedia Network Inc., 10006 - 101 Street, Edmonton, AB T5J 2S6 [ML_FHb11]