How to be safe this ‘swimming season’

2018-12-05 06:00
According to the World Health organisation, worldwide an estimated 360 000 people die due to drowning annually. PHOTO: sourced

According to the World Health organisation, worldwide an estimated 360 000 people die due to drowning annually. PHOTO: sourced

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DROWNING is said to be the third highest cause of unintentional death of children in South Africa, this according to the Medical Research Council of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The WHO state that there are an estimated 360 000 annual drowning deaths worldwide, however they also speculate that “global estimates may significantly underestimate the actual public health problem related to drowning. Children, males, and individuals with increased access to water are most at risk of drowning.”

Lifesaving South Africa spokesperson James Ross said that it’s very important for parents to watch their children with a close eye if they are going near water.

“We usually see children left unattended at the pool, which is not very good because they might drown if they can’t swim,” he said.

He also advised that parents should supervise their children and not let them go to the beach alone.

“Our sea conditions are very dangerous and children should be with a parent every time they want to go to the sea,” advised the spokesperson.

He also reiterated that adults should only swim where there are lifeguards and they shouldn’t swim if ever they are under the influence of any substance.

“Usually men don’t want to swim where they are lifeguards and most of the time they’re under the influence of alcohol, which is very irresponsible because they might hurt themselves,” he concluded.

To help prevent drowning, and to teach safety and respect around the water, Life Saving South Africa have created eight simple and easy rules to stay safe in the water.

• Swim at beaches where and when lifeguards are on duty.

• Swim between the flags.

• Don’t drink and drown.

• Don’t swim alone — always swim with a buddy.

• Adult supervision and barriers to water are vital.

• Know how to survive rip currents.

• Don’t attempt a rescue yourself, call a lifeguard or dial 112 from your cellphone for help.

• Do not use floating objects, toys, or try tubes at the beach or on dams as you can get blown away from the shore.

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