Silent and Deadly: Drowning Dangers Not Always Obvious

Swimming Safety

TRIAD, N.C. – Family and friends are still mourning the loss of a 19-year-old who drowned in Belews Creek last month.

Over the weekend, temperatures will inch toward 100 degrees. It goes without saying many people will be on the water - be it a lake or a pool.

Read: 2 Child Drownings, 2 Near-Drownings in Past 3 Weeks in Guilford Co.

Friday, family friend Carla Reed continues to reflect on Tyrell Smith's life, but now, she says his death is an important, yet tragic, reminder of the dangers of the water, as many people try to find relief from the heat.

“No matter the age, the race, or anything, all it takes is one split second and for your world to change,” she said.

It’s a lesson Reed hopes more people will take seriously.

Experts say more than one thousand children die from drownings each year, and more than five thousand children go to the emergency room for near drownings.

At Hamilton Lakes Swim and Tennis Club in Greensboro, lifeguards are always on high alert, but say, they're the last line of defense - not the first. So parents need to pay attention.

“There’s a lot of kids, and while were watching everybody, it's a lot easier if you're watching your own kids,” said head lifeguard Clay Dorman, “I think every day, you see a little kid who struggling more than you would like.”

He says parents are good about watching the kids at his pool, but the injury prevention coordinator at Cone Health say things can go wrong very quickly and unknowingly.

“In the movie, we see people screaming and flailing their arms, but in reality drowning is silent. People just slip right under the water,” said Leigha Jordan.

Jordan goes on to say it's very important to keep eyes on children swimming at all times, especially if they're young. It's also about having the right stuff: a fence that surrounds a home pool with a self-latching gate, alarms, and life-saving devices close by.

Copyright 2017 WFMY


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