Avoidable deaths happen at home


Swimming is a very relaxing and cooling activity, especially in summer, but for homeowners, negligence of swimming safety can take away a loved one’s life.

According to Internet reports, a child under the age of four is 14 times more likely to die from drowning than from a motor vehicle accident. One such incident was reported by ER24 EMS who tweeted about a four-year-old boy who drowned.

According to Statistics SA’s 2015 statistics on drowning in South Africa, 1 411 people drowned of which 1 129 of them were males and 282 females, of different ages.

City of Johannesburg EMS spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi said that homeowners who have swimming pools which are not in use should drain the pool.

He added, “Joburg EMS responds to at least two drownings or near-drownings incidents a month especially between September and March. Most of the victims are usually children between two and five years of age.

“Those who do not have swimming pools are advised to visit municipal swimming pools which are fully operational throughout the city with lifeguards on site to monitor them while they swim.”

He discouraged people from swimming in rivers, streams and dams as the risk of drowning and injury were higher.

Owners of Debbie Dolphins Swimming School in Midrand, Estelle Barnard and Cindy-Lee Naidoo, suggested that children needed to learn how to float on their backs to enable them to breathe freely with their faces out of the water when they were learning to swim. This is a vital skill as floating brings confidence of movement in the water.

“Children are drawn to water and they need to be educated in this environment,” said Barnard. “No one should swim on their own, or without adult supervision if underage. Anyone who is drowning should not be approached unless by a lifesaver who is trained in this field.”

In a home environment, empty bottles with lids on or plastic balls can be put into a plastic bag and thrown to someone in trouble so that they can hold on to it enabling them to float. Pool noodles can also be used if available.

Raising the hands above the head and thrashing around will drain the energy and ultimately tire out the swimmer.

The City’s bylaws regarding swimming pools for homeowners include:

  • Homeowners are also advised to make sure that family members and visitors are trained on basic swimming skills.
  • Put a fence around the pool with a locked gate.
  • The swimming pool must be covered with a safety net when not in use.

Details: http://www.debbiedolphins.co.za


Also read:

Teaching swimming skills to youngsters


Nokuthula Sonile

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