posted on Jan, 31 2007 @ 01:48 PM
First off, thank you very much for the recommendation of LifeHammer. I'm ordering 2 right now.
Second, about how to make sure your kid(s) have a chance if you drive into a lake and the car sinks...
1.) Swimming Lessons (already mentioned) and Lifesaving classes will help them both survive the water, and their chances for revival in the event that
2.) Get a one-gallon plastic milk jug, seal the cap with super-glue. Get a velcro strap, attach one end to the milk jug, leave the other available,
with enough length to strap the milk-jug to the child's chest if you have time, but allow for the possibility that the best you might be able
to do is their shoulder or foot. Keep the milk-jug loosely strapped to their car seat. Alternately, if you have the funds, buy 'em a life jacket of
the appropriate size. That's the best floatation device there is.
In the event of your car plunging into the lake, if you don't have a lifehammer, take a deep breath, roll YOUR window down IMMEDIATELY. Then UNLOCK
THE BACK DOOR. You only have till the water gets up about 1/3 to 1/2 the height of the wind-shield before the pressure causes it to shatter inward.
You don't want that to happen for two reasons: one, you get a faceful of glass, two, it's a huge volume of water to suddenly rush in, and will
likely drown you if it catches you unprepared. You have, from the point that the car hits the water, about 30 seconds to act before the water caves in
the wind shield (if no windows are rolled down). Additionally, your "float time" will be at best one minute, including that 30 seconds.
Once your window is down (or gone), AND THE BACK DOOR UNLOCKED then slowly but firmly open the back door. Unbuckle the child from the car seat, should
be easy since it's just one button, and strap the milk jug to their chest, then shove them out the door. Physics will do the rest. The air in the jug
will send them to the surface, if they are small enough, and provide a large amount of bouyancy and assistance if they aren't able to outright float.
If you have more than one child, start with the youngest, as they will have the smallest lung capacity.
Now, by this time, you are probably well on your way to the bottom of a lake, and you've probably rolled a lot. Your internal equilibrium will almost
certainly be screwed up, you'll be short on air (or breath), and most likely frantic. If there are ANY pockets of air left, perhaps near the back
wind-shield, you might want to take a breath. By now the back door will have probably closed again, and the downward motion of the car will probably
keep it closed. Don't panic. Roll the window down if it's manual, or climb up front and go out the driver-side window.
Last bit of advice. Remember how messed up your equilibrium will be? Let out a bit of air. Not much, just enough to see where the bubbles go. Follow
the bubbles. After you've traveled a few yards, let out some more air. Follow the bubbles. Repeat until you reach the surface. If you try to guess
where the surface is without this method, after exiting a sinking, rolling car, you will almost certainly drown. It may feel like you can't possibly
sacrifice any more air, scream, then swim like a mofo towards the bubbles. Worst case scenario is that you sacrificed yourself to save the kids.