The Number One Drowning Myth

Published: May 15, 2022

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We’ve all seen the movies and television shows that feature a scene of drowning—there is typically a lot of yelling, and lots of splashing over a long period of time while onlookers attempt to understand what is happening and then perform a rescue.

Unfortunately, Hollywood has taught us to look for the wrong things when it comes to water safety. Drowning is by and large silent—a person struggling for air cannot scream, and more likely you’ll see a person bobbing slightly up and down in the water with little to splashing.

“We know that 88 percent of drownings happen under adult supervision. At first glance, parents and caregivers may think a child is playing, but instead, that child is struggling,” said Jennifer Helm, Senior Aquatics Director. The fact that drowning is silent makes it all the more important to watch children closely when water is around—whether that’s a swimming pool, lake, ocean, or even bathtub.

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