Shallow Water Blackout
Dr. Sanjay Gupta recently did a story on Shallow Water Blackout on CNN. This story implies that PROLONGED BREATH HOLDING and UNDERWATER SWIMMING should be banned. The story can be viewed at http://sanjayguptamd.blogs.cnn.com/2012/09/03/swimming-hazard-shallow-wa...
Shallow water blackout occurs when people hyperventilate prior to performing extended breath holding activities. This is not something people, and especially young children, do during recreational swimming.
The Dr. who was interviewed on the show had lost her son who drowned in a residential swimming pool, at night, after everyone else had exited the pool. There is no evidence that her son was engaging in hyperventilation activities prior to his fatal submersion.
Breath holding and underwater swimming is a natural piece of the entire aquatic experience. And, we should be educating people how to perform these skills safely - not banning them from engaging in these activities.
At the same time, lifeguards should be required to intervene anytime they observe a swimmer face down and not moving after 10 seconds.