Shallow-water black out happens due to the fact that hyperventilation depletes the level ofCO2 in your body and gives you system a false sense of security even if the amount of oxygen levels in your body is getting dangerously low. These factors are made worse when a person is exercising and moving around in ways which increase the heart rate, thus using more oxygen.
Low O2 levels in the bloodstream will often lead to a loss of consciousness. Freediviers who are unconscious will often give the appearance of being ok because they don’t seem to be in danger and look as though their movements are coordinated, but unfortunately ,brain damage due to oxygen deficiency has often already set in.
Some tips to avoid shallow water blackout include:
- Do not force yourself to hyperventilate while doing activities in the water. It is much harder to recover from mistakes made in the water.
- Remember that when you are exercising and causing your heart rate to increase, your ability to hold your breath will be diminished because your body is using more oxygen.
- Prior to any free diving or other breath holding activities in the water, make sure to educate those around you about shallow water black out.
- Explain to young children that they should never practice breath hold diving without an adult present. NEVER DIVE ALONE!!
- Make sure signs are posted that warn of the dangers of shallow water black out in areas where water activities are engaged in.
For more information about shallow-water blackout safety, people
should contact: http://shallowwaterblackoutprevention.org/