Drowning is one of the leading causes of death in children. It can occur in any body of water, including a lake, pool, bathtub, or even a large bucket of water. Like in all matters, prevention is better than cure. To protect your child from the danger of drowning, never leave him or her alone around water. Once children reach the age of 3 years, they should be taught the basic rules of safe swimming, and be told what to do if they get into trouble.
In order to rescue a drowning child, all you have to do is to remember the simple ABC's of saving a drowning person - Airway, Breathing, Circulation.
If you find a child in or near water who is unresponsive, immediately instruct someone to call for emergency help. Pull the child out of the water and place him face-up on a flat, firm surface. Tilt the child's head back slightly and lift his jaw in order to open the airway. Then look, listen and feel for breaths. Look to see if anything is obstructing the child's airway. Listen to hear if the child is breathing and using your hand, try to feel any movement of air coming out of his mouth.
If you don't detect any breathing through the child's airway, you must attempt rescue breathing. Pinch the child's nose shut and then seal your lips around his mouth. (If the child is under 1 year of age there is no need to pinch the child's nose). Next breathe into the child's mouth twice gently and slowly. If your technique is working, you should be able to see the child's chest rise. If the chest does not rise, either the child's tongue may be blocking his airway or you may not have created a tight enough seal over the child's mouth. In this case, tilt the child's head once more and try again.
Once you have given two breaths, check the child's pulse by placing your hand on the inside part of the child's upper arm, between the shoulder and elbow. If you feel a pulse, continue giving one breath every three seconds. Remove your mouth between each breath to allow the child to exhale. Continue this until help arrives and keep checking for a pulse once each minute. If you don't feel a pulse, begin CPR (Cardio-pulmonary Resuscitation).
To begin CPR, use the heel of your hand to give 5 chest compressions between the child's nipples. Each compression should force the breast bone to drop 2-3 centimeters and should last less than one second. After five compressions give one slow breath and repeat the cycle, while checking for a pulse every two minutes. If the child is under the age of 1, use only two fingers to compress the breast bone straight down.