Friday, July 13, 2007

Worst Case Scenario: Pool Drains

I just read a story tonight that freaked me out. A little girl fell on her bum on a pool drain that's cover had been removed, and the suction ripped a hole in her rectum and sucked out most of her small intestine. That poor thing! She was only 6 and her life is changed forever. She's lucky to be alive.

That got me thinking about how scary it would be to be trapped in a pool drain in deep water. Apparently the pressure can be so much that people couldn't pull you out and you could drown. So, typical of me, I started trying to think of what could be done to get air to someone in that situation. My best idea is with those floaty "noodle" things kids play with in pools. It turns out they are hollow, like giant straws. So if you could somehow cover the end of one and get it down to someone that was stuck, they could hopefully breathe through it. Of course though, they aren't 10 ft. long, and I doubt you could really hold them together and keep a water tight seal. I doubt there are enough drinking straws at a pool to make a breathing tube.

I'd welcome any good survival ideas. McGuyver would know what to do! Maybe there'd be some piping nearby? Or maybe a hose at a neighbor's house? I do think that if you saw someone get stuck in there, the best thing you could do would be to start trying to find them some kind of tube to breathe through. Let someone else try to pull them off the bottom, someone that doesn't realize it probably isn't going to work. You'd have to be so fast though. The trapped person could probably only hold their breath for a minute or two, and after that would probably pass out and whatever tube you got them would be useless if you couldn't clear their lungs.

Could people swim down to the person and give them breaths of air, like mouth to mouth? If I was trapped on the bottom of a pool I seriously doubt I could be calm enough to handle the logistics of that. And if I was the swimmer, I'd be a little scared to swim down there because what if they grabbed on and I couldn't get away?

What if it was your kid? I think my worst fears all involve being helpless while something bad happens to my daughter. Ugh.

Oh man, I am going to have the worst dreams tonight. Curse my late night browsing!!