Drowning: 5 tips to avoid accidents

Since June, France already has 121 deaths related to a drowning according to the latest survey of Public Health France. To avoid them this summer, here are the 5 tips of the health organization.

The numbers are scary and yet they are not bigger than in previous years. Between June 1st and July 5th, 2018, 552 drownings took place in France according to the preliminary results of the survey of Public Health France, against 275 accidental drownings in 2015 *. The number of deaths increased slightly from 109 three years ago to 121 this year.

Nearly 70 drownings have affected children under 6, making it the most affected population. "Most accidents involving children are due to a lack of supervision, a defect in the safety device or a fall. For adults, they occur mainly due to discomfort, imprudence or simply not knowing how to swim", Reads the statement. In this document, Santé Publique France lists five tips to avoid drowning.

Learn to swim

The first tip seems obvious but it is important to remember it. More than one in seven French people say they can not swim *, including 5% of 15-24 year olds and over 35% of 65-75 year olds. For a child, it is possible to teach him swimming from 4 or 5 years if he has the capabilities. From the age of 6, all should have acquired this faculty, even if learning can be done at any age.

Do not take your eyes off a child in the water

At the sea, in a lake or swimming pool, the child, whether in the water or on the shore, must always be under the constant supervision of a responsible adult. He "can drown without noisein less than three minutes in twenty centimeters of water", Reminds the health organization. It is also recommended to equip it with armbands (CE marking and standard NF 13138-1).

Promote supervised areas

Reducing the risk of drowning also involves choosing the bathing area. This one must be supervised because the intervention of the rescue teams is faster. A system of flags informs users: if it is red, swimming is prohibited, if it is orange, it is dangerous but monitored and if it touches a green color, it is safe and monitored.

Monitor the physical form of the child

The adult must take into account the physical form of the child. The latter should not go into the water if he is tired, has health problems or chills. Be careful not to overestimate your level of swimming. Bathing areas are not the same: swimming in a natural place is more difficult than swimming.

Be aware of bathing instructions

An attentive bather is a bather in safety"For Public Health France. To do this, it is necessary to warn a relative before bathing, to respect the safety instructions indicated by the flags of bathing, not to be exposed too much to the sun and to enter gradually the water. It is also possible to train in first aid. Last tip: do not drink alcohol before bathing.

* According to the NOYADES 2015 survey of the Institute for Public Health Surveillance (InVS) and the National Institute for Prevention and Health Education (Inpes)

** Based a study of Public Health France published in the summer of 2017.

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Video: Drowning Prevention Guidelines (November 2019).

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