The Indians have a method of protecting themselves from cramps. Coming to a bathing pool, an Indian swimmer, after stripping off and before entering the water, vigorously rubs the pit of his stomach with the dry palms of his hands. This rubbing probably takes a minute; then he dashes cold water all over his stomach and continues the rubbing for another minute, and after that he is ready for his plunge. If the water in which you are going to swim is cold, try this Indian method of getting ready before plunging into the water.
The rule for entering the water, in most camps, is as follows: “No one of the party shall enter the water for swimming or bathing except at time and place designated.” Laxity in the observance of this rule will result disastrously.
[Illustration: Fig. 1]
To rescue a drowning person from the water, always try to pull him out with an oar, a rope, a coat (holding the end of one sleeve and throwing him the other), or some other convenient object. If you are obliged to jump in after him, approach him with great caution, throw your left arm around his neck with his back to your side (Figure 1), in which position he can’t grapple you, and swim with your legs and right arm. If he should succeed in grasping you, take a long breath, sink with him, place your feet or knees against his body, and push yourself free.
[Illustration: Fig. 2]
Although life may seem extinct, make every effort
Various procedures are advocated. The Sylvester method is one of the best.
Hold the boy for it few seconds as in Figure 2, to get rid of water which may have been taken in. Do this several times. Tear off clothing. Rub briskly the legs and arms toward the body. Draw the tongue forward every three seconds for a minute. If these methods fail to restore breathing, then perform artificial respiration, first sending for a physician.
Lay the boy on his back with a folded coat or sweater under his shoulders, and grasp his wrists or his arms straight up over his head as in Figure 3.
[Illustration: Fig. 3. Respiration]
[Illustration: Fig. 4. Expiration]
Pull steadily and firmly in that position while you count 1, 2, 3. This causes air to enter the lungs. Then quickly bring his arms down on his chest and press them firmly on his ribs (Figure 4) while you again count 1, 2, 3. This forces the air out of the lungs. Then quickly carry his arms over his head and down again, and repeat the same routine fast enough to make him breathe from twelve to sixteen times a minute. The tendency is to work too fast. If the work is done properly the air can be heard distinctly as it passes in and out of the air passages. Sometimes the tongue drops back in the throat, stopping it up so no air can enter. If you suspect this, have an assistant grasp the tongue with a handkerchief and keep it pulled forward.