Facebook Twitter Pinterest  photo insta.jpg Email RSS YouTube

Drowning is SILENT

I’ve been flat on my back sick this week. I’ve barely had energy to do anything but sleep and eat small amounts of food. However, while browsing Facebook this evening I saw a video by our local news channel that made me suck up some energy, and write this post. Not much has that strong of an impact on me that I get off my sick bed to do it. However, as a mother and pediatric intensive care nurse, I can not emphasize this enough: DROWNING IS SILENT.

drowning is silent

Monday is Memorial Day and the official kick-off of summer and swimming season (at least in my area). It’s the perfect time to remind people that DROWNING IS SILENT.

Drowning does not look like you see on TV. It is not arms flailing, yelling for help, and a bunch of coughing. A person who is in trouble in the water will bob silently up and down. They will not flail, they will not call for help. Their main goal is to keep their nose above water but they won’t last long trying to do so. The person who is drowning in the water is the person who is the most quiet.

Please watch this video:

I had heard it before and thought I knew what it meant that DROWNING IS SILENT but I didn’t truly understand it until it happened right in front of my face! The last day of kindergarten, Nutty and her friends were having a pool party at her friend’s house. The kids swam happily in the pool while the moms chatted on the edge of the pool. Suddenly one of the moms says “Megan, are you ok? Megan? Oh my God!” I was staring right at Megan, let me say that again right.at.Megan, and didn’t notice a thing. Brooke, however, a former lifeguard, recognized that Megan was in trouble. Brooke jumped fully clothed into the pool and pulled her out.

“What happened?!” I asked Brooke in shock after Megan was done coughing and sputtering. “She looked fine.”

Brooke then told me that Megan’s head was barely above water, that her nose was up, and her mouth was under water. When Brooke asked if Megan was ok, she did not respond. That is what drowning looks like.

I think us moms were more shook up than Megan was. Brooke recognized her drowning right away. It would have been a whole lot different if Brooke were not a trained lifeguard who knew what to look for. Megan almost drowned as I stared right at her!

Please share this post or the video. We need to change people’s perception of what drowning looks like. Keep your kids safe this summer and for many summers to come!

And, if this post isn’t scary enough, please read Lindsay from Delighted Momma’s recent story. Drowning doesn’t just happen in the water. I have seen this in my career as a pediatric intensive care nurse too.


  1. Thanks for sharing this. I’ve seen that video pop up on my FB timeline and I haven’t brought myself to look at it yet because I don’t think I can stomach it, but I did read your description. My child took swimming lessons at 2 years old, but she’s still very vulnerable, so I will definitely be more cautious this summer.

  2. Thanks for sharing this, Jamie. I didn’t know this and while it was a tough video to watch, I feel a little smarter for doing so. So scary…

    Fun fact! Did you know Jeff Passolt also has type 1 diabetes? Sorry – I can’t help but jump on the diabetes connections I spot in the world. 🙂