PHILIPSBURG–Collective Prevention Services (CPS) advises parents and guardians to be vigilant when their children are at the beach or swimming at the pool during the school holidays.
Drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury/death worldwide, accounting for seven per cent of all injury-related deaths, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The WHO defines drowning as the process of experiencing respiratory impairment from submersion/immersion in liquid; outcomes are classified as death, morbidity and no morbidity.
The WHO said the global report on drowning (2014) shows that age is one of the major risk factors for drowning. “This relationship is often associated with a lapse in supervision. Globally, the highest drowning rates are among children 1-4 years, followed by children 5-9 years.”
In the WHO Western Pacific region children ages 5-14 years die more frequently from drowning than any other cause, according to WHO information.
There are several actions that can be taken to prevent drowning. Covering cisterns/wells, using doorway barriers and playpens, fencing swimming pools, not having washtubs or buckets open with water, etc., are just some examples of what measures can be taken.
Teaching school-age children basic swimming, water safety and safe rescue skills are approaches that can be undertaken to prevent drowning, and always ensuring supervision by a responsible adult when a child(ren) is/are in the water.