Preparing for Every Pool Emergency

medical symbolIt’s always a good idea to have an emergency plan in place in case of an accident involving your backyard swimming pool. Adult supervision is required whenever children are swimming. And at least one person should be familiar with emergency rescue techniques.

Rescue … then Resuscitation

If somebody drowns or swallows water, the first thing to do is to remove them from the water. Next, you need to try to get them breathing again by using mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Get the person onto dry land. Have someone help you lift the person from the water. If no one else is available, you may need to pull them to the shallow end of the pool so you can push them up onto the deck yourself.

Call 911

First, have somebody call 911 so that help is on the way.

Then, turn the drowning person’s head to the side so that any water can drain from their mouth and nose. After that, begin mouth-to-mouth resuscitation by pinching closed the nose and breathing strongly into the mouth four times.

After the fourth breath, put your ear to their mouth and listed for any breath. Watch the chest for any signs of breathing. You also can check the pulse for signs of life.

If the person has not revived, repeat these steps again. Keep trying until the person starts to breathe again or until emergency medical help arrives.

They often will spit up a bunch of water that has been in their lungs.

What to Do Next

Even if the person is revived, you should still wait for the ambulance to arrive so that they can be taken to the hospital.

There are complications that can result from getting water in the lungs, including pneumonia, infection and even heart failure. The person probably will be kept under observation for at least 48 hours to make sure they are okay.

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