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Posts Tagged ‘drowning prevention’

boy child flippers fun

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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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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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In the UK we have our own ideas when it comes to right and wrong and public safety. Separated by a wide expanse of water from our American cousins and a much narrower channel from our European partners, our Island mentality is costing lives. In America and Europe outdoor swimming is the expected norm. Summer is a happy time of playful water fun but American and European attitudes seem to have no place here.

Britain once led the world into a new association with water. Mass education of school children in the art of swimming reduced drownings and increased the quality of people’s lives. But today in an effort to be politically correct and not to offend anyone, serious flaws in our education system are accepted and sustained.

Learning to swim - once a British Obsession

Watch this short 1973 public information film and análise your feelings about the message it contains:

The message in this video may seem unacceptable today. Now everyone’s a winner, theirs no wrong answer and no one is to be excluded. But these ideals do not work in an aquatic setting; they don’t work in the real world. Education is the key element of water safety and survival.

People don’t live in ignorance, they die in ignorance.

It may not be PC to mention that a drowning victim couldn’t swim or that his lack of education or ability in swimming outdoors cost him his life (yes, it is usually males that drown) but it’s the truth.

Wild Swimming Can Save Your Life

Wild Swimming Can Save Your Child’s Life

I look back on my childhood with fond memory’s, watching Tarzan swim and fight off crocodiles and Tom Sawyer and his friends rope swinging into the Mississippi. I read about Swallows and Amazons where unsupervised bathing was part of a wonderful summer. And I remember fathers words: “Better drowned than duffers, if not duffers won’t drown.”  It might not be PC to say that the nations children are “duffers” but if they weren’t aquatic “duffers” they wouldn’t drown!

Knowing where and how to “swim safe” is essential and telling adults and children not to go in swimming is just not working.

In a country that recommends higher education to even the least able, we are sadly lacking when it comes to our understanding of a child’s fascination with water.

Despite warnings to keep out and stay away, children instinctively know that plunging into cool refreshing water on a hot sultry day is going to be just delightful. Our European partners and our American cousins recognize this fact and until we do the same needless drownings will sadly be a constant feature of our increasingly hot summers.

The good news is that something can be done! Swimming can be once more celebrated rather than marginalized. As an outdoor swimmer I’m fed up with being Hung Out to Dry. I want to go in swimming; to protect youngsters through education, and see news reports expose the truth, the tragedy of drowning is not that someone went into a river at a beautiful location but rather that a lack of understanding on the part of the non swimmer cost him his life.

An ancient Romans proverbs stated: “An ignorant man neither knows how to read nor to swim.”

“Ignorant” men and boys will continue to drown until they are educated out of ignorance.

If not duffers, won’t drown!”

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