DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Following the tragic drowning of 14-year-old Mykiara Jones at The Land of Illusion Adventure Park Tuesday evening, many water safety experts are cautioning people to be more diligent while out swimming or near water.
“It’s really easy to get distracted at a pool … and drowning can happen in a matter of 10 seconds,” said Jennifer Davis, a Swimsafe pool management safety manager and lifeguard instructor .
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 4,000 fatal drownings occur yearly in the United States, making up almost 11 deaths daily.
“Drowning doesn’t look like at all what we’re used to seeing in the movies. The movies gives us this perception of big splashes, loud noises — you’re gonna hear it and know what’s going on. Drowning is very silent and it’s very fast,” said Davis.
Davis also encourages parents to pay extra attention to their children while swimming, and to avoid using flotation devices as substitutions for watching your child in the water.
Davis said another tip to protect yourself from drowning is strength in numbers. “Obviously don’t ever swim where there’s no lifeguard. Obviously that’s kind of a given but people do. 2, swim with a buddy. That’s a huge one, regardless of your skill level.”
If you notice a person bobbing up and down in the water, head tilted back, or eyes bulging, Davis said these are signs to take action immediately. “The number one thing is don’t help them. Get a life guard…have them help them. That’s their job that’s what they’re trained for.”
If a lifeguard isn’t present, make sure to get air into the person. “Drowning is a breathing emergency, so the most important thing you want to do to address the drowning process is get air into the person as quickly as possible.”