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Swimming instructor warns parents over games that can cause ‘shallow water blackout’

Swimming instructor warns parents over games that can cause ‘shallow water blackout’

Swimming instructor Nikki Scarnati has warned about shallow water blackouts, something that can be fatal

A swimming instructor has warned parents over water games that can cause a 'shallow water blackout'.

Of course, with the summer nearly here, a lot of youngsters will be jumping into pools as a way to cool down.

Whether that be on a holiday abroad or even in an outdoor swimming pool in the UK - because, do you remember how toasty it got last summer?

While it's very fun for children and even adults to cool off in the water when it's so hot, it's important to remember how dangerous water can actually be.

And water travesties are up in the UK, too - in 2021, 277 people died from drowning, up from 254 in 2020.

The warning has been issued to parents.

In an important warning to parents, TikToker, swimming instructor and drowning prevention educator Nikki Scarnati has warned parents against playing 'breath holding games'.

Games like this are pretty popular and an all-time classic swimming pool game many play with their pals, but you really don't want to be doing it.

Nikki explained: "When we play games in the water that encourage our children to hold their breath longer than they should it can potentially be dangerous.

"Most common [games] I see and hear of is who can swim across the pool the fastest [and] who can do the most amount of flips under the water."

Nikki then warned: "Every second your child is underwater passed that point of needing a breath, they are increasing their odds of having a shallow water blackout.

According to the Royal Life Saving Society UK, a shallow water blackout is 'the loss of consciousness of a swimmer caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain (cerebral hypoxia) following hyperventilation and breath-holding'.

It adds that 'without rapid rescue and first aid, a fatal drowning will occur'.

Meanwhile, Shallow Water Blackout Prevention provided four tips to stop the potential fatal events from happening.

On its website it says to never hyperventilate, don't ignore the urge to breathe, never swim alone, and like what Nikki said, don't play breath-holding games.

Nikki concluded her TikTok with: "Let's promote games that are going to encourage them to have their air supply."

She gave an example of jumping into the pool but make it a race to see who can come up the fastest to find their float.

The TikToker has warned playing such games could be fatal.
TikTok/ @scarnati.swim

The warning is not the only one being issued by Nikki, as she has educated parents about the best way to dry off their child and wrap them up in a towel after they've been for a swim.

Nikki showed the typical way - the towel over the kid's shoulders and keeping them snug and warm - but that method can be unsafe.

Nikki explained: "If they were to fall in the pool this way, all of their limbs are going to be restricted under a wet towel."

Instead, you should dry their arms off, then get your child to lift up their arms and wrap the towel around them - like you would yourself after getting out of the shower.

"That way, if they end up in the water, they still have access to their limbs to self-rescue and they're that much safer," Nikki resolves.

Featured Image Credit: TikTok/@scarnati.swim

Topics: TikTok, Parenting, Social media, Health