Shallow water black out in its most simple term is the loss of consciousness from extended breath holding.
In competitive swimming
In competitive swimming athletes are at high risk especially when doing repeated sets where they are pushing themselves to go further in their underwater work. This is used in preparation for competition because the underwater dolphin kick is more efficient then swimming on the surface of the water.
To raise awareness of shallow water blackout, Head Coach of North Baltimore Aquatic Club Bob Bowman, stared in a YouTube video which explains even experienced swimmers can become a victim. You can watch this video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=13&v=ODo0815FNK4 .
To assist swimming coaches, The Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association shared its position statement regarding Hypoxic Training and it can be read at the following link http://www.swimming.org.au/visageimages/Hypoxic%20Training%20Policy%20Position.pdf .
Regardless of age or ability
All swimmers regardless of age or ability should be educated to
- Never swim alone
- Always take a breath when you feel the need to
- Never play breath holding challenges
Swimming world magazine also did an online article to highlight the tragic incidents that can result from shallow water blackout. http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/news/shallow-water-blackout-the-silent-killer-of-swimmers/
For more information we suggest heading over to the website http://shallowwaterblackoutprevention.org/. Their mission is to prevent senseless deaths from underwater blackout through awareness and education. On their website you can see facts about shallow water blackout as well as videos, information, pool signage and brochures to help in raising awareness of shallow water blackout.
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