- If there is a pulse, supply a breath every 3 seconds. Check for a pulse each minute and give breaths until the child is breathing normally again or when help arrives.
- If there is no pulse for children aged 1, imagine a line between the child’s nipples and place two fingers below the center of the chest. Do 5 fast compressions on the chest and place your mouth over the child’s mouth and nose to give one breath.
- If there is no pulse for a child over 1 year, use your hand’s heel to apply 5 compressions on the center of breastbone, above the conjoining of the ribs. After the compressions, pinch the child’s nose and place your mouth over their mouth and nose. Give one full breath.
Continue the cycle of chest compressions and giving breaths for 1 minute. After doing so, check for a pulse and repeat the cycle until you find a pulse or help arrives.
Remember that the child must stay warm. Cover them with any available piece of clothing while applying first aid. If they are revived, they should be brought to the hospital as all near-drowning people need emergency attention.
How to Prevent Drowning
Besides learning how to save a drowning child, a parent must look into how to prevent drowning in children. The following outlines water safety guidelines in different swimming environments.
In pools, rubs, and resorts
Before delving into the various swimming settings, go through these general safety points:
- Learn CPR.
- Never leave kids unsupervised in or near a pool, hot tub, or body of water during gatherings. Adults who can swim can take turns being the ‘designated watcher’. Air-filled or foam toys (e.g., water wings, noodles) must not be relied upon to keep kids safe.
- Kids below 4 years of age must be watched at arm’s length even if they know how to swim.
- Teach children how to swim. Although it does not safeguard against drowning, it can help reduce chances.
- Do not drink alcohol when near bodies of water and especially when looking after swimming children.
In residential pools and swimming areas, take note of the following measures:
- Build a fence that is at least 4 feet (1.2 meters) in height to separate the pool from the house and yard. Ensure that kids cannot easily climb over the fences or through the slats. Put self-closing and self-latching gates in place and make sure that children cannot reach the latches.
- Install a floating-pool alarm or a below-water alarm.
- Consider using a rigid and motorized safety cover for the pool when it is not in use. Place covers on hot tubs, take off removable above-ground pool steps or ladders, and empty inflatable pools when not in use.
- Remove toys in water as your child may fall trying to get a toy out of the pool.
- Be mindful of your child playing or sitting on pool or tub drains, as the strong suction can trap body parts or hair.
- Keep emergency equipment on hand such as a lifesaver with a rope, a reaching pole, or shepherd’s crook.
Natural bodies of water
Ponds, lakes, rivers, and oceans tend to be unpredictable in terms of water depth, temperature, currents, and weather. As such, when in natural bodies of water, observe the following guidelines, besides knowing how to save a drowning child: