Drowning is preventable

2016-02-18 06:00

DROWNING is one of the top five causes of child fatalities and is the most preventable cause of death in children under the age of five, says Robert McKenzie, KZN EMS spokesperson.

Paramedics attended to two adult drownings on Saturday morning where a 20-year-old woman and 26-year-old man were the victims. The incidents happened at a flat complex in Manaba and Umtentweni beach, respectively.

McKenzie advised that in the event of a drowning, paramedics should be notified first before any rescue attempts are made.

“Unless you’re a strong swimmer and very confident, don’t enter the water to rescue someone as many times would-be rescuers have become drowning victims,” he said.

“Be wise, and remember that water is dangerous even if you know how to swim,” added McKenzie.

He said if the victim has been removed from the water and they are not breathing and you know how to perform CPR, you can.

“Carry on with this procedure while you have someone else call paramedics,” he said.

He said education on safety in the water is important and everyone should research and have knowledge of safety tips before they enter the water.

•Knowing how to swim is an important skill that everyone should have. Find out from your council if there are services offering free swimming lessons.

•Swim with a companion - someone who is a good swimmer.

•Never go into deep water unless you are an experienced swimmer.

•Swim where lifeguards are on duty and only within designated bathing areas, marked with red and yellow flagged beacons.

•Swim or take part in water sports when you are alert, never when you’re sleepy or have used drugs or alcohol.

•Keep a lookout for friends. If you’re a good swimmer, but your friends aren’t, make sure they know their limits and keep an eye on them in the water.

•If a big wave approaches and there is not enough time to get away from it, dive underneath it and keep your body as low as possible until the wave passes over you.

•Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not entrust a child’s life to another child. Teach children to always ask for permission to go near water.

•If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.

•Steer clear of animal life like jellyfish and stingrays.

•Always keep swimming pools covered with a safety net or cover.

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