Near drowning

  • Definition

    "Near drowning" means a person almost died from not being able to breathe (suffocating) under water.

    If a person has been rescued from a near-drowning situation, quick first aid and medical attention are very important.

    Alternative Names

    Drowning - near

    • Thousands of people drown in the United States each year. Most drownings occur within a short distance of safety. Immediate action and first aid can prevent death.
    • A person who is drowning usually cannot shout for help. Be alert for signs of drowning.
    • Children can drown in only a few inches of water.
    • It may be possible to revive a drowning person even after a long period under water, especially if the person is young and was in very cold water.
    • Suspect an accident if you see someone in the water fully clothed. Watch for uneven swimming motions, which is a sign that the swimmer is getting tired. Often the body sinks, and only the head shows above the water.

    • Attempted suicide
    • Blows to the head or seizures while in the water
    • Drinking alcohol while boating or swimming
    • Falling through thin ice
    • Inability to swim or panicking while swimming
    • Leaving small children unattended around bathtubs and pools