Preventing Drowning From Underwater Breath-Holding

Risk Research Bulletin | June 2012 | 0 Comments  Average 3.5 out of 5

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About This Resource

Training campus lifeguards and pool management staff to understand and recognize the symptoms of shallow water blackout (SWB) can significantly reduce risk of drowning in campus pools. UE analyzed drowning-related claims to help institutions develop training that addresses the most common risk factors for potential SWB victims. Findings include:

  • Victims of SWB are disproportionately young males
  • In typical SWB cases, drowning occurs underwater and is difficult to observe
  • SWB is most common among experienced swimmers practicing breath-holding for training purposes

Your institution’s lifeguards and facilities managers can help reduce the risk of SWB. To make sure your training meets the needs of specific groups:

  • Include SWB recognition in lifeguard training
  • Ensure that your aquatic facility has proper signage
  • Place lifeguard posts so that all zones of the pool are covered
  • Consider installing a monitoring device to alert lifeguards of a potential drowning early

Read the report for information about preventing drowning at your institution.


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