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"Drowning Is Major Cause of Death", Says WHO

"Drowning Is Major Cause of Death", Says WHO
19 November 2014 1310 Views No comments

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that drowning is one of the ten leading causes of death for children and young people around the world. In its first report on drowning, the WHO has showcased just how important it is to introduce your children to water at a young age.

The report, entitled Global Report on Drowning: Preventing a Leading Killer, found that around 372,000 people die as a result of drowning every year, with over half of these happening to people under the age of 25. The highest rates of drowning were found to be among children below five.

While most of the deaths occur in low or middle-income countries, these are frightening statistics no matter where you live. The report's findings show that getting children used to water, teaching them about safety, and getting them swimming as soon as possible could be life saving.

The WHO has said that drowning is the biggest epidemic that no one has heard of. With so many people losing their lives every year in the water, it really underlines the difference that water skills can make.

Dr Etienne Krug, director for the Department for Management for Noncommunicable Diseases, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention at the WHO, said that on average 40 people around the world drown every hour.

“These are often children in bathtubs or in watering holes or rivers; fishermen doing their daily work that are carried out at sea; migrants looking for a better life, but losing it in perilous crossings; and capsized ferries, which result also in the drowning of scores of passengers in one time," he said, according to Voice of America.

The report has led to the WHO urging communities and governments to take steps to reduce the number of drowning deaths. It has called for investment in low-cost and simple measures that can improve safety when it comes to natural bodies of water, swimming pools and the sea.

These measures include things like putting barriers in place, restricting access to water, and providing more swimming lessons for children to teach basic and potentially lifesaving skills. The WHO has also suggested that training people in safe rescue and resuscitation techniques could help to reduce the number of deaths caused by drowning every year.

Although the highest numbers of deaths occur in poorer countries where access to water is a daily necessity for household chores, health and work, drowning still claims lives in richer countries.

While improved medical care and water pipe systems have helped to cut down on deaths in countries like the UK and US in the last 70 to 80 years, recreational activities or living in close proximity to a body of water still present a risk.

If children are unaware of how to act around water, how to swim or what to avoid, it can get them into trouble. The WHO figures, alongside findings from the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) which showed that half of primary school children in the UK can't swim a length of a swimming pool unaided, are worrying for everyone, not just parents.

Whether your children swim regularly, live near water or very rarely go to the pool, teaching them basic water skills and swimming techniques could be life saving in the future. This is why baby swimming and swimming lessons are important as well as fun for your little ones.

Ensuring that your kids know about when it is safe to go in the water, how they should act around water, how to tread water and how to swim will help them to feel safer and more confident when swimming, while also making you feel more at ease.

Some swimming lessons also include modules on teaching your children to swim with their clothes on, which is a very different experience from wearing a swimsuit. Lessons like this can help your whole family to feel more prepared for anything, which is important if you are around water a lot.

If your children lack confidence in the water, you can help them to feel more comfortable with regular lessons. You may also want to invest in buoyancy aids to help them build up their swimming skills and feel more at home in the water. Products like the Original Konfidence Jacket are suitable for use in the sea or swimming pools, helping your little ones get accustomed to different environments.

As well as being important for improving safety, swimming with your children is also fun and they should enjoy it. Starting at a young age helps to build a bond between you and them, as well as providing them with a fun activity.