numbers, warning signs, what to do?

Each summer, accidental drownings cause about 50 deaths among children. Lack of supervision is found at 1 out of 2 drowned Places that are most exposed: swimming pools. How to avoid drowning and what to do in case of an accident with Dr. Estelle Darviot, Head of Pediatric Medical and Surgical Emergencies at CHU d’Angers.

[Mise à jour le 21 juin 2022 à 11h23] According to the DROWNING 2021 study published by Public Health France in June 2022, 22% of unintentional drownings registered in the summer of 2021 affected children under 6 years of age. Every summer, accidental drownings cause around 50 deaths in children under 13, Public Health France recalls. Lack of supervision is found in 1 out of 2 drowned What is symptoms in case of drowning? If the child drink the cup ? How Saving ? How avoid drowninge?

According to the DROWNING 2021 study published by Public Health France in June 2022, 22% of unintentional drownings registered in the summer of 2021 affected children under 6 years of age. They are, along with those over 65, the most affected by these accidents. 6% of children died after drowning. Every summer, accidental drownings cause about 50 deaths in children under 13 years of age. Lack of supervision is found in 1 out of 2 drowned. Concerning the places where drowning takes place, children drown most in swimming pools (compared to the sea or the river).

Contrary to what one sees in certain movies, one drowning child does not make a sound : he falls to the bottom of the water and has no time to fight or summon help. The most important warning sign of drowning is a child who fails to reach the surface of the water, who has difficulty breathing, or who does not breathe when it reaches the surface. “, says Dr. Estelle Darviot.

Drinking the cup means involuntarily swallowing water during a swim. “In this case, we all have cough reflex to keep water out of the lungs, like when you swallow food the wrong way. It is an adapted reflex, and if we drink water that enters the digestive tract, it does not matter as it does not prevent us from breathing.“, Explains the pediatric emergency physician. drowning means suffocation by flooding the airways.

► If your child is not as usual after several minutes, and especially if he or she has one or more of these signs, you must quickly notify the emergency services.

Prevention poster, if the child drank the cup. © Public Health France

If your child is unconscious but breathing:

  • Call 15 or 112.
  • Put it aside.
  • Straighten his head.
  • heat it up

If your child is unconscious and not breathing:

  • Call for help around you (neighbor, nurse, a particular first aider, doctor, etc.).
  • Call 15 or 112.
  • Lay the baby on the floor (no mattress or pillows) and practice cardiac massage and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. “Mouth to mouth alone is not enough, the child who does not breathe will most often also be in cardiac arrest (or soon) and it is more important to do heart massage “, Comments Dr. Estelle Darviot.

“The care will be the same, regardless of the child’s age, she continues. The first thing to do is take it out of the water and check its condition. If he breathes reasonably correctly, we mount him comfortably, possibly on his side, and we warm him up. If he no longer pulls, you must inform the emergency services and start resuscitation maneuvers, namely mouth-to-mouth and heart massage. “.

It is necessary to ensure that the bathing area is well protected so that the child can not access it alone and that there is Always have a responsible adult nearby. “Of course we can put armbands on the child but also teach him that this is a potentially dangerous place where you should never go alone and you have to be carefuladvocates Dr. Estelle Darviot. For example, we can explain to him that if the ball falls into the water, he must summon an adult to pick it up. You need to teach children reflexes, this is part of safety education. Because even if there are barriers, there will always be a moment when someone can forget to close it. It is never 100% reliable protection. In general, no precautionary measure is infallible so you have to be vigilant, because it does not take long to drown and everything can be done in silence“.

  • Teach children to swim as fast as possible and make them familiar with the aquatic environment from an early age
  • Keep an eye on children at all times, always stay close to them when playing at the water’s edge and pray with them when they are in the water
  • Each child must be constantly and closely monitored by a single adult who takes responsibility for them during the swim.
  • Take special care when swimming in “above ground” pools (not buried) which does not have a safety device

Thanks to Dr. Estelle Darviot, Head of Pediatric Medical and Surgical Emergencies at CHU d’Angers.

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