Emergency services warn of drowning risk during festive season

Pretoria – With the festive season and warmer weather upon us, the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality’s Disaster and Emergency Management Services (DEMS) has warned residents to be vigilant against drowning.

Sanews.gov.za reports that the DEMS called on residents to follow water safety tips, as drowning is the second highest cause of accidental deaths among people between the age of 5 and 24 years.

Due to the fact that many social gatherings will be taking place in close proximity to pools, lakes, dams and rivers during the festive season, they have advised people to keep a close eye on children and people who do not know how to swim.

Emergency Services spokesperson William Ntladi warned that even if kids do take swimming lessons, this does not necessarily put them out of danger and that parents should still keep a close watch on their whereabouts.  

Check out these swimming safety tips from Health24:

- Never leave children unsupervised around swimming pools, garden ponds, water features or buckets of water. A child can drown in a small puddle of water

- Restrict access to swimming pools by using a pool safety net

- Teach children to swim from an early stage

- Ensure that your pool water is sparkling blue and free from harmful bacteria

- Do not allow children to push other children into the pool, run around the pool or hold each other under water.

- NEVER swim alone

- Do NOT swim under the influence of alcohol

In the event of an emergency, residents can call The Ekurhuleni’s DEMS number: 011 458 0911, the National Emergency Number:  10177 and the Cell phone Emergency number: 112

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