The Final Breath: Preventing Hypoxic Blackout

The Final Breath: Preventing Hypoxic Blackout

Recently, as I deliver Lifeguard information and training sessions, the more I find I am talking about Hypoxic Blackout (commonly referred to as Shallow Water Blackout) in much greater detail. I spend a lot of time explaining to Lifeguards what drowning actually looks like, some of the distinctive signs and of course the completley indistinct!

I spend some time explaining to Lifeguards the physiology behind blackouts as it seems to me that many know the term ok, know it's bad and know it can kill, but maybe not why!

Educating the public about the dangers of Hypoxic Blackout can be aided greatly by well informed and knowledgable lifeguards. I came across this article by Kirsty Kinzer and thought it was brilliant, needed to be shared and used to reinforce the dangers of hypoxic blackout.

To be honest, the scariest people I talk to about the subject are those whose children are competition swimmers or certain swimming coaches - I cannot get over how blase some are - I hope they read this!

When Great Swimmers Drown

When Great Swimmers Drown

I came across this blog on theShallow Water Blackout Prevention - Australia  Facebook page.

It really is a powerful piece from Brenna Fenner.

In the years that I have been involved in Drowning Prevention it is ALWAYS the families and those closest to a victim or an "almost victim" who strike the best chords!

The most powerful presentations that I do with Lifeguards are when a Mother or Father of a child who has drowned volunteers to come along and speak directly to those responsible for the safety of others around the pool.

So brave of them to deliver their story and always incredibly emotional.

This is when reality kicks in and the truth about thier individual responsibility hits home!

Please read Brennas story.

By Brenna Fenner http://www.brennafender.com/

My 10-year-old daughter is a Junior Olympic level synchronized swimmer. She’s been an accomplished swimmer since she was a toddler. So, of all the things I have worried about as her mother, drowning was not one.

But on May 22, 2017, that is exactly what happened.

Drowning in a Sea of Misinformation: Dry Drowning and Secondary Drowning

Drowning in a Sea of Misinformation: Dry Drowning and Secondary Drowning

Earlier this month a young child died following days of vomiting. He had been in shallow water in a Texas dike about a week before his death. The story was picked up as an alleged case of a rare condition called dry drowning or secondary drowning. (CNN. June 9, 2017; http://cnn.it/2rECrOV.) The media accounts went viral, spreading significant fear in parenting communities and among those learning about these alleged conditions from the news or social media.

Every death is tragic, especially when it is a child's. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the family and to those who treated the patient. Drowning deaths are a common cause of pediatric death, and we need to be particularly vigilant about sharing correct, meaningful, and medically credible information.

Drowning: What Every Parent NEEDS to Know!

Drowning: What Every Parent NEEDS to Know!

This article was originally posted by Rebecca Wear Robinson - an inspirational person to me and one I greatly admire - Her passion is "Global Water Safety for Children"

The news has been full of stories of secondary drowning lately.  I’ve had a number of parents ask me about secondary drowning, and finally was asked the big question, ‘so what is drowning?’

Today I’m going to talk about what drowning really means, how to recognize if someone is drowning, and I’m going to explain why drowning is one of the most preventable causes of death and injury and what you can do to keep your child safer around water for their entire life.  It’s a long article, but probably the most important article I’ve written on the subject, so please stick with me.

15 Year Old Drowns in Madrid Public Pool

15 Year Old Drowns in Madrid Public Pool

A 15 year old boy has died in hospital in Madrid having been underwater for more than 5 minutes in the municipal swimming pool in Arganda del Rey, according to a spokesperson from the Madrid Emergency services.

At around 17.45 SUMMA (Emergency Medical Services of Madrid) received a call about the drowning and sent out a medical team by helicopter to the swimming pool in san Sebastion street in Madrid.

5 Year Old has a VERY Near Miss in Helsinki

5 Year Old has a VERY Near Miss in Helsinki

Once again we read about a near miss! THIS time we get to see how an unattended 5 year old boy is swum past and around as he fights for his life in a swimming pool.

Thankfully what could have been yet another tragedy ended with the boy miraculously surviving over four and a half minutes under water.

This could have so easily been yet another awful statistic and a needless drowning of a child.

NEVER leave your children unattended and ALWAYS keep a watchful eye on them.

Just watch how easily this incident develops - frightening!

A Near Miss

A Near Miss

Today I am on my way to the beautiful Island of Mallorca to do some much needed cycling on my bike. I don't do holidays around a pool anymore having done it once not long after I qualified as a lifeguard. I spent two weeks patrolling the pool and couldn't relax.

Holiday tragedies are all to often something we hear about that happened to someone else whom we don't know.

So it wasn't long after I published my blog, "Drowning does NOT look like Drowning" when I was contacted by a gentleman called Brian Henning from Northern Ireland who relayed this story to me. He said that it struck a chord with him and he wanted to share his story to illustrate to others how in the blink of an eye your life could change forever!

HSG 179 - Where are we Going?

HSG 179 - Where are we Going?

I have just finished my presentation at this years Elevate at the ExCel Arena in London.

For my part, I delivered the options for Drowning Prevention Technology.

However - my first slide was a statement on the current state of where we are with the “update” on the HSG 179

I wrote this:

It is my understanding that the revised HSG 179 will highlight further the use of  Drowning Prevention Technology which should in turn add further “weight” to the concept of “Blended Lifeguarding”

Presentation at Elevate 2017

Presentation at Elevate 2017

On Wednesday 10th May I will be speaking at Elevate 2017 - the UK's largest cross-sector event bringing together the physical activity sector, academia, healthcare, policy makers, local authorities and performance experts.

The seminar title is - Maximising aquatics revenues - increasing usage and managing costs.

My presentation will be incorporated within the "Drowning prevention strategies and the latest technologies" section.

Drowning does NOT look like drowning!

Drowning does NOT look like drowning!

It’s been an exciting month actually. I have been doing quite a bit of instruction with, Trainers and Duty Managers. Now I’m not talking about the “normal” training covered in any syllabus or part of the excellent IQL UK Ongoing Training and Competency Assessment - I’m referring to “scare the pants off you training!”

I am very fortunate (or maybe unfortunate depending on how you look at it) in my working life to “come into contact” with near drownings, near misses and actual tragedies that occur in swimming pools around the UK and Ireland.

Not in my back yard!

Not in my back yard!

It has been a strange weekend!

On Friday night an incident occurred in the swimming pool at one of my local leisure Centres within my Council area - one I know quite well.

Unfortunately and sadly a young 20 year old man died in the local hospital a short time later.

Now at this stage as you would expect - details are pretty thin on the ground but my thoughts go to the family and of course the staff. The centre at time of writing was still closed.

What prompted this article was "local" reaction to the incident.

When ignorance is NOT bliss!

When ignorance is NOT bliss!

I count myself really lucky in the role I have in Poolview Ltd that I get to travel around the country - visiting swimming pools, talking to Lifeguards, Supervisors, Plant Engineers, Duty Managers, General Managers, Contract Managers, Directors, Architects, Structural Engineers, Water Experts, Manufacturers, Governing Bodies, Drowning Prevention Experts and Technologists, actually the list goes on and on - it’s quite impressive when I write it down and look and realise that I really am blessed to be ‘allowed’ into many of these people’s lives.

Technology & Lifeguarding - Water & Oil?

Technology & Lifeguarding - Water & Oil?

Here's the thing – as the inclusion of Drowning Prevention Systems (DPS) within swimming pools becomes more “normal” and accepted as good working practice, I’m still always asked what others opinions are about making use of technology to facilitate lifeguarding and can you really mix the two?

Lifeguarding and Technology – some dichotomy? Sitting in the sun today pondering this conundrum, wondering if there is anything I can assimilate it with?  Maybe not exactly but let me tell you a true story……

I Don't Want My Lifeguards to Rely on Technology

I Don't Want My Lifeguards to Rely on Technology

I was on a poolside today, the oldest operational pool that exists in the UK today I am advised.

It opened in 1888. I wonder did the person who dreamt that crazy idea up ever think then where we would all be now?  The public wash house turning into a place of recreational activity!

We sure have come a long way!

Lifeguarding and swimmer safety has moved with the times and advances in qualifications and training techniques, promoted by organisations like the RLSS have surely saved many a life.