Nav: Home

Rescuers often driven by emotion

June 11, 2019

Scientists from James Cook University and Royal Life Saving Society - Australia have found reason can go out the window when people's family members, children and pets are in trouble in the water, and people should be better trained in water rescue skills.

JCU's Associate Professor Richard Franklin was part of a study that examined successful rescues, and drownings where someone had died trying to rescue another in trouble in the water.

He said many drowning prevention organisations emphasise the need for people to think about whether they can safely complete a rescue before they attempt it.

"What we have found is that about half of all those being rescued were close family or friends of the rescuer, and half were aged under 10 years. It's possible that thoughts of self-preservation go out the window when the potential drowning victim is from these groups," Dr Franklin said.

He said that seventeen rescuers drowned between 2002 and 2017 while trying to rescue children, while another six who died between January 2006 and December 2015 were trying to rescue a dog.

He said another piece of information was also important.

"About 14 % of the people who had completed a rescue were either current or former lifeguards, and none of them drowned in the attempt. This was almost certainly due to their training and experience," he said.

Dr Franklin said the scientists were calling for skills on safe rescues and effective resuscitation to be taught in high schools and regularly renewed.

"It's best to use primary prevention methods - targeted interventions such as concentrating on specific age groups, locations or activities - to prevent drownings, but we think secondary prevention measures such as rescues and resuscitation are also important for reducing the drowning toll," he said.

Amy Peden, Senior Research Fellow with Royal Life Saving Society - Australia, and an author of the paper, encouraged people to learn resuscitation and consider participating in a Bronze Medallion course.

"Most of those in our study were unprepared for undertaking rescues and often acted in the heat of the moment, to rescue a loved one. Having the skills to act in an emergency is vital to reducing the risk and avoiding an all too common scenario, the rescuer who drowns," she said.
-end-
Background:

In Australia an average of 281 people die from drowning annually and, on average, a further 474 are hospitalised due to non- fatal drowning.

Forty-two (82.4%) of those who drowned while performing a rescue were male.

People aged 25-34 years (27.5%) and 35-44 years (25.5%) were the leading age groups who drowned while performing a rescue.

The World Health Organisation estimates there are 372,000 drowning deaths per annum globally.

James Cook University

Related Children Articles:

How many children is enough?
Most Russians would like to have two children: a boy and a girl.
Preterm children have similar temperament to children who were institutionally deprived
A child's temperament is affected by the early stages of their life.
Only-children more likely to be obese than children with siblings
Families with multiple children tend to make more healthy eating decisions than families with a single child.
Children living in countryside outperform children living in metropolitan area in motor skills
Residential density is related to children's motor skills, engagement in outdoor play and organised sports. that Finnish children living in the countryside spent more time outdoors and had better motor skills than their age peers in the metropolitan area.
Hispanic and black children more likely to miss school due to eczema than white children
In a study that highlights racial disparities in the everyday impact of eczema, new research shows Hispanic and black children are more likely than white children to miss school due to the chronic skin disease.
Children, their parents, and health professionals often underestimate children's higher weight status
More than half of parents underestimated their children's classification as overweight or obese -- children themselves and health professionals also share this misperception, according to new research being presented at this year's European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Glasgow, UK (April 28-May 1).
Children with autism are in 'in-tune' with mom's feelings like other children
New research addresses limitations of prior autism spectrum disorder (ASD) studies on facial emotion recognition by using five distinct facial emotions in unfamiliar and familiar (mom) faces to test the influence of familiarity in children with and without ASD.
First Nations children and youth experiencing more pain than non-First Nations children
First Nations children and youth are experiencing more pain than non-First Nations children, but do not access specialist or mental health services at the same rate as their non-First Nations peers, found new research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
Grandparents: Raising their children's children, they get the job done
Millions of children are being raised solely by their grandparents, with numbers continuing to climb as the opioid crisis and other factors disrupt families.
How do you assess pain in children who can't express themselves? New research identifies priorities in identifying pain in nonverbal children with medical complexity
Pain is a frequent problem for children with complex medical conditions -- but many of them are unable to communicate their pain verbally.
More Children News and Children Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Reinvention
Change is hard, but it's also an opportunity to discover and reimagine what you thought you knew. From our economy, to music, to even ourselves–this hour TED speakers explore the power of reinvention. Guests include OK Go lead singer Damian Kulash Jr., former college gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, and entrepreneur Nick Hanauer.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.