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Living Healthy

Myths about drowning

BOSTON (WHDH) -- With summer in full swing, there's some important information to know about drownings.

Many of us think when someone is drowning, they would splash and scream. But the truth is, it can be frighteningly quiet.

The fictional act unfolding in the accompanying video may not win an acting award - but it could save lives.

"He might start splashing a little bit and he's putting his arms up and down," said Dr. Linda Quan, an emergency physician.

Doctor Linda Quan has experienced swimmer Hay Quan demonstrating a drowning and says this is by far the most splashing you'd expect to see.

"And when they get to that point they're in big trouble, because he can't keep that head and his airway his nose open," Dr. Quan explains.

This means he doesn't have the energy to splash or scream.

"It's important that people realize it's not Hollywood, it's not noisy, it's not yelling for help," said Dr. Quan.

And it only takes seconds for a drowning victim to sink out of sight.

"I just don't want any other family to have to deal with what we had to," said Kevin Sayson, the brother of a drowning victim.

Kevin Sayson learned that lesson the hard way while paddle boarding a couple years ago with his older brother, Tyrone Fabroa.

"It just looked like he was treading water, you know swimming back to shore but obviously not," said Sayson.

By the time anyone realized he was drowning, it was too late.

"It just makes me cringe... it's so simple..," said Sayson.

He knows an inflated life jacket could've saved his brother - but for kids it takes even more.

"Flotation is not a substitute for supervision. We'll have parents wrap a noodle around the children and walk away," said Matt Richardson, an aquatics director.

Experts encourage adults to always assign a designated water watcher, someone to keep an eye on kids at all times at the pool and lake.

"Texting while watching the kids in the water, eating, preparing meals - it's not adequate," said Richarson.

Because it only takes a moment for someone to silently slip out of sight.

Every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning.

Two of those are children 14 or younger.