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Prevent drowning

Thursday, March 19, 2015

ACCIDENTAL drowning can happen at the beach, at sea, in swimming pools, in rivers or in flooded waters around low lying areas or creeks.

During the first quarter of the year 2015 there has been quite a number of drowning cases reported. The latest is of the four boys who lost their lives at East Viria in Vatuwaqa, Suva.

The Fiji police and the Water Safety team have been regularly advising people of the precautionary measures when going out swimming. However, it appears some people are either not adhering to the advice or are very careless. Many families have lost their loved ones lives through drowning. None of us would like to see any of our loved ones' become the next victim. There are several ways to keep people from drowning.

Drowning is supposed to be the seventh leading cause of accidental deaths of all ages and the second leading cause of death in children aged one to 14 years. Many victims know can swim but either swim out very far, suffer cramps, or just panic and lose control. It usually takes a few minutes for a child to drown. Young children are "head heavy" for their bodies.

Whether one has a swimming pool at home or would like to swim at a beach, river, sea, etc, the undermentioned are some simple guidelines to safeguard one's family in water hazards. Never allow a child around bath tub, swimming pool, creeks rivers, beaches or pool of waters if you have to move away even for few minutes.

If one happens to be at sea or at the beach, always swim parallel to and not too far away from the shoreline. If one gets a sudden cramp or tired, he or she will not be far away from the shore. If one gets stuck in a current, swim diagonally to the current. If one is a weak swimmer or becomes exhausted, float on the current and signal for help. Use caution with rafts or floating devices. Be careful of sudden drop offs, strong currents, and undertows when swimming in oceans, rivers or lakes. Remind children to go into water feet first. Each year, diving into shallow water takes its toll in drowning cases and spinal cord injuries. Never swim during an electrical storm.

Some of the above guidelines could be of great measure for many households. Water can pose a hazard. It is opposite to fire. People lose lives through drowning and through property fires. It's high time for people to become responsible and understand precautionary measures.


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