Drowning is a harsh possibility during any holiday

The festive holiday season is about fun in the sun, but the most important ingredient to the enjoyment is water. And with water, whether that is the ocean or a swimming pool, the harsh reality is where people don’t take care the dangers of drowning are ever-looming.

The 2018 holiday season will see large crowds of people visiting beaches along the coast to sunbathe (the Mole, Langstrand and Dolphin Park). People go fishing and many households either have installed swimming pools or take out the quick-pool from the garage for the children to cool off and play the days away.
Let us all be vigilant this year to the best of our abilities to prevent drownings. The majority of drownings are caused by the inability to swim; panic in the water; leaving children unattended near swimming pools or at the beach [most often unintended for only a few minutes at a time]; leaving small children or babies unattended for a moment in the bath tub or near buckets of water; alcohol consumption before swimming or an unexpected medical condition such as muscle cramps or more serious a heart attack, stroke or underwater injury whilst swimming.
It is best advised that households enjoying the holiday along the coast to make it a priority to identify possible scenarios where drownings can occur. If you go to the beach, ensure that children are always visible and take turns in deliberately looking out for the children as they are playing in the water. In the event of swimming pools at homes where young children form part of the holiday group or family – ensure the children are under constant adult super-vision when they swim. Remember to cover the pool after swimming and best – if a pool is fenced off and it has a secure gate the chances of drownings are drastically reduced.
At the beach, it is also important to take note not to swim in areas where the sea is gradually becoming deeper and to stay clear of areas where the shore’s topography spurs rip cur-rents. Over consumption of alcohol also pose a danger when people go to swim. Alcohol, like in the event of driving, inhibits one’s ability to act responsibly or to save oneself in the event of being knocked over by a wave, where the sea unexpectedly becomes deep and your feet is not firmly on the ground or in the event of an unexpected medical condition or injury.
Alcohol is unfortunately also resulting in adults becoming relaxed and slacking the vigilance to oversee that children are safe.
It is also important to understand the human body’s dynamics in the event of a near-drowning: A near-drowning occurs when you’re unable to breathe under water for a significant period of time. During near-drowning, your body is cut off from oxygen to the point where major body systems can begin to shut down from the lack of oxygen flow. In some cases (particularly in young children), this can happen in a matter of seconds. The process typically takes longer in adults.
It’s important to remember that it’s possible to revive a person who has been underwater for a long time.
A myth that also needs to be busted, is drownings not only occurs where the body of water is larger than the body of the person. A person can drown in small bodies of water such as a bucket of water (especially toddlers) and it only takes an ankle-deep rip-cur-rent or knee-deep cur-rent to throw you off balance and end you up in trouble in the sea.

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