Here’s a fun game you can play just before heading off on the family holiday. Spot the Drowning Child is a simple educational game written by Francisco Saldaña to help people recognise what is happening.
The Instinctive Drowning Response — so named by Francesco A. Pia, Ph.D., is what people do to avoid actual or perceived suffocation in the water. And it does not look like what most people expect. There is very little splashing, no waving, and no yelling or calls for help of any kind. To get an idea of just how quiet and undramatic from the surface drowning can be, consider this: It is the number two cause of accidental death in children, age 15 and under (just behind vehicle accidents) — of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult. In ten percent of those drownings, the adult will actually watch them do it, having no idea it is happening.
For the record, I did manage to spot the drowning child, but it took a lot longer than I expected, especially when you take into account that I was actively looking for the drowning child.