Archive for the ‘Drowning Prevention’ Category

boy child flippers fun

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The Local reports: During the heatwave, the police reported fatal swimming accidents almost daily, with 15 children under the age of 15, and 40 young people, between the ages of 16 and 24, among the victims.

The German Lifeguard Association (DLRG) – which stations 40,000 volunteer lifeguards on Germany’s beaches – has attributed the cause of deaths to a lack of swimming lessons at primary schools and the reluctance of parents to encourage their children to pass the swimming test for the bronze badge.

Refugees are at a particular risk in water, according to the DLRG, because some of them did not receive formal swimming training in their country of origin.

German lifeguards have also connected the increasing number of child drownings this summer to neglectful parents, distracted by their mobile phones rather than keeping an eye on their child’s safety, the Guardian reported.

DSV Education Officer Axel Dietrich stated that teaching children about proper swimming technique is not enough.

“People drowned this summer because they weren’t aware of the water temperatures and currents…or because they got a cramp in their leg in the middle of the lake and didn’t know what to do,” Dietrich said.

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The Mirror Reports: Parents whose children drowned unite in grief to spare heartbreak for other families.

As the summer heatwave ­continues to lure youngsters into rivers, lakes, reservoirs and the sea, they are pleading for action.

“Sadly, open water is a magnet for ­people during the summer. People see it as somewhere they can cool off. But they don’t see the danger.”

Comment: Notice that learning to swim is at the bottom of this list of safety measures below! Uniquely our culture has encouraged pool swimming and vigorously discouraged open water swimming for decades. On a hot sunny day it is natural for youngsters to seek out open water fun. Sadly poor swimming ability does not stifle confidence or bravado. See: From Lifesaving Education to none at all!

RLSS – Tips to swim safe

The Royal Life Saving Society UK gives 12 tips to reduce the risks of swimming in open waters.

■ Always look for warning and guidance signs.

■ Swim parallel with the shore, not away from it.

Avoid drifting in the currents.

■ Do not enter fast- flowing water.

■ Be aware of underwater hazards.

■ Get out of the water as soon as you start to feel cold.

■ Never enter the water after consuming alcohol.

■ Only enter the water in areas with adequate supervision and rescue cover.

■ Always take someone with you when you go into or near water. If something goes wrong they will be able to get help.

■ If someone is in difficulty in the water shout reassurance to them and shout for help and phone the emergency services – call 999 or 112.

■ Without endangering yourself, see if you can reach out to them with a stick, pole or item of clothing – lie down to ensure you stay secure. Or throw something buoyant such as a ring buoy or anything that will float.

■ Always let someone know where you’re going – take your mobile phone.

■ Learn swimming and life-saving skills.


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The New Indian Express reports: After learning swimming over the vacation period, 91 kids swam across the Periyar here in Aluva thanks to the Valassery River Swimming Club’s free of cost training. The aim was to prevent incidents of drowning in the state’s waterbodies. The group learned swimming under the guidance of coach Saji Valasseril and his colleagues in two months.

Since the District Collector had issued a caution, as the shutters at Bhuthathankettu dam were opened, the children swam only 300 metres from Malappuram Kadavu to Shiva Ksetram Kadavu.  About 465 students came here for swimming lessons this summer. The youngest was Niya Rose, 6, from Kadungalloor. Adults were also given training since January, with 190 people enrolling for classes. However, only 63 finished the training by crossing the Periyar. The oldest was T V Sunny, a retired bank manager living near Aluva Powerhouse.

This year, the swimming training begun by teaching actor Tini Tom and making him cross the river. The event was flagged off by municipality counsellor A C Santhosh Kumar. Municipality chairperson Lisy Abraham greeted the students at the temple side and distributed trophies and certificates to them.


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New Picture

The Daily Echo reports: FREE outdoor swimming and water safety sessions for up to 2,700 children will be held in Sandbanks Beach from the end of this month.

The Swim Safe programme, which is delivered in partnership between the ASA (Amateur Swimming Association) and the RNLI, is running events from July 30 to August 18 for the public to attend. It features a land-based safety lesson with a lifeguard, followed by in-water tuition with a swimming teacher.

Ashley Jones, Site Coordinator for Swim Safe at Sandbanks said: “We’re really looking forward to running Swim Safe for the first time on Sandbanks Beach this year.

Wetsuits, swimming hats and a free goody bag with t-shirt are all provided.

Swim Safe

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Gabby Hinsliff of The Guardian reports: School’s out, and the boys explode through the gate like corks from a popgun. After a day of being forced to sit still, my eight-year-old son and his friends tumble over each other like puppies in a basket, fizzing with the need to run, jostle and fight. But what they really want is to play a game called Old Granny. The rules are sketchy but it broadly consists of rugby tackling each other to the ground at high speed – and they’d play all day if they could.

Although perhaps they shouldn’t be playing it at all. This week a group of doctors and researchers called for a ban on contact rugby – the kind involving tackling – in schools, arguing that kids should play the milder tag version instead due to the risk of serious injuries (from concussion through to paralysis). I can only imagine what they’d make of Old Granny.

There has inevitably been a furious backlash, with the anti-tackling campaigners portrayed as the sort of joyless fusspots who want to ban conkers. Cue much nostalgia for the days when children weren’t wrapped in cotton wool. They were also, curiously enough, the days when Jimmy Savile groped his way through TV audiences because in those days only joyless fusspots took sleazy backstage behaviour seriously.

It’s true that kids learn to judge risks safely only by taking controlled ones. That’s why parents spend the early years – when only a lunatic would indulge children’s inbuilt deathwish – painstakingly covering the sharp corners of coffee tables with soft sticky pads, only to spend the next few years trying to let go. Parenting older kids consists mainly of trying to hide your fear, while praying that the early lessons sank in.

So I’m all for climbing things and falling off them, wild swimming in rivers, cooking on campfires, playing out on your own, and for sport that helps children push their physical limits. But the rugby debate is about more than parenting styles. More…

Could Health and Safety be drowning us by accident?

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Is it a sin to swim

As the weather warms up and as the sun starts shining we face again the very British question: Is it a sin to swim?

Around the world warm weather spells pick-nicks and fun trips to the river, lake or seaside. Outdoor swimming is a major part of the summer season in all but the British Isles.

Drowning Prevention Week is running this year from June 20 to 28 to coincide with the rush of summer enthusiasm and to provide a last reminder before our youngsters break up from school. In an effort to escape the consequences of poor swimming education, the RLSS has in the past resorted to deterrents and discouragement to keep would be summer swimmers safe.

Perhaps last years video, although very powerful and wonderfully made went a little further than intended, but children do need to learn about dangers and to evaluate risks.

For example; no one would suggest that crossing the road was so dangerous that children and teenagers should never do it, or if they did cross roads, even with their parents that they were somehow crossing the line of propriety. We respect the right of children to escape from home, even alone, and enjoy their freedom, whilst at the same time we remind them that their actions have consequences.

Should the same not also apply to outdoor swimming, or in Britain, is it still a sin to swim?

Swim Safe: advice for parents and children

Swim Smart: for Adults and Teenagers 

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Taken from – “Scouting for Boys” by Robert Baden-Powell 34th edition 1932 (246-7)

Scouting For Boys Baden-PowellThe list of boy scout heroes shows you what a large proportion of accidents are due to not knowing how to swim. It is therefore most important that everybody should learn to swim, and, having done so, to learn how to save others from drowning.

A great Channel swimmer, writing in “The Boys Own Paper”, pointed out that a boy, when learning to swim, should learn first how to get in and out of a boat, i.e., by climbing over the stern. Secondly, how to support himself on an oar of plank, i.e., by riding astride on it, or by catching hold of one end, and pushing it before him and swimming with his legs. Thirdly, how to get into a floating lifebuoy, i.e., by shoving the nearest side of it down under water and capsizing it over his head and shoulders, so that he is inside it when it floats. Fourthly, how to save a life.

A moderate swimmer can save the life of a drowning man if he knows how, and has practiced a few times with his friends.

The popular idea that a drowning person rises three times before he finally sinks is all nonsense. He may drown at once, unless someone is quick to help him.

The important point is not to let the drowning person catch hold of you when you get to him, or he may drown you too. Keep behind him always.

Put an arm across his chest and your hand under his armpit, telling him to keep quiet and not to struggle. If he obeys, you can easily keep him afloat. But otherwise be careful that in his terror he does not turn over and catch hold of you. If he should seize you by the neck place your arm around his waist, and the other hand, palm upwards, under his chin, with your finger-tips under his nose. Pull and push,and he must let go. If you find yourself clutched by the wrist, turn your wrist against his thumb and force yourself free. But you will never remember this unless you practice it frequently with other boys first, each taking turns in being the drowning man or the rescuer.

Learn to swim Tommy the Tenderfoot

Any of you that cannot swim as yet, and who fall into water out of your depth, remember that you need not sink if you take care to do the following things. First, keep your mouth upwards by throwing your head well back. Secondly, keep your lungs full of air by taking in long breaths, but breath out very little. Thirdly, keep your arms underwater. To do this you should not begin to shout, which will only empty your lungs, and you should not throw your arms about or beckon for help, because this will make you sink.

If you see a person fall into the water and begin to drown, and you yourself are unable to swim, throw a rope, or an oar or a plank right to him, so that he may clutch it and hold it. If a person falls through ice, and is unable to get out again because the edges are breaking, throw him a rope and tell him not to struggle.This may give him confidence until you can get a long ladder or pole across the hole,which will enable him to crawl out, or allow you to crawl out to catch hold of him.

It’s hard to believe that we have turned our back on educating youngsters to swim and save lives in the water. Attitudes need to change, and they should be changed because swimming is the delight of life!

See also:

Could Health and Safety be Drowning Us by Accident?

From Lifesaving Education to none at all!

“Disappointed and Very Concerned” says Jennie Price of Sport England as swimming drops by 9%

The Evolution of British Swimming

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