In many child drownings, adults are nearby but have no idea the victim is dying. There is very little splashing, no waving, and no yelling or calls for help of any kind. Such reactions are only seen on TV.
To get an idea of just how quiet and undramatic from the surface drowning can be, consider this: It is the No. 2 cause of accidental death in children, ages 15 and under (just behind vehicle accidents)—of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult. In some of those drownings, the adult will actually watch the child do it, having no idea it is happening.
READ the story in Slate to learn what you should look for.