What should I do if my child slips under the surface in a tub, pool, or other body of water?
When a child is in the water, it’s extremely important not to leave him unattended, even for a second. If he slips under water for a moment while playing in the pool, it’s likely he’ll come up coughing and sputtering. If he’s been under water for longer, you’ll need to move calmly and quickly. Follow these steps:
• Lift your child out of the water.
• Carry him with his head lower than his chest.
• Remove any wet clothing and wrap him in a dry, warm towel or blanket.
• Call 911 or your local rescue squad or bring your child to the nearest emergency room immediately. (Even if he appears fully recovered, he may have inhaled water, which could cause lung damage.)
• If he’s unconscious, assess his condition, breathing, and pulse. If he’s not breathing, open his airway and begin mouth-to-mouth and nose resuscitation. If he has no pulse or breathing, begin CPR.
Although chances are you’ll never need to do CPR on your child, it’s wise to learn the method, just in case.