One of the most common form of death of children in the Asia region is none other than drowning. In fact, the drowning rate alone is more than the deaths from measles, polio, whooping cough, tetanus, diphtheria and tuberculosis combined. According to a recent report by the UNICEF / The Alliance for Safe Children, one in every four deaths of children aged between one to four years old is due to drowning in places such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand and China.
In Australia, they are countering drowning cases through initiatives such as the SwimSafe. Now, they have establish themselves in Bangladesh in the hopes of helping the children there as well. “I spent this morning visiting Swim Safe locations, interviewing participants and their families, and watching lessons being conducted. The need to prevent drowning in low income countries such as Bangladesh is so important and I am so proud Australians are taking the lead in providing drowning-prevention programs. Of the 10 children aged 5 – 10 I interviewed this morning, since graduating from the Swim Safe program here in Bangladesh, 6 have already rescued a younger child,” said Victoria Clancey, an Australian Youth Ambassador for Development working for UNICEF in Bangladesh.
This initiative has helped to reduce the drowning numbers so far by more than 80% as a direct result of having adequate supervision. Also, the drowning death rate for those children aged four years and above who took part in the SwimSafe were reduced by more than 90%. Although the drowning cases in these countries have gone down drastically with assistance from the Australians, there are still many other low and middle income countries in Asia who aren’t as fortunate. Child drowning in these unfortunate countries still remain undetected as a significant health issue. The truth is that many of such drowning cases could have been prevented with proper supervision. For the full article, please click here to read it.
In Singapore, the government has made swimming compulsory for all students in primary school. This is our method of preventing drowning tragedies from occurring. However, there are still cases that occur and this is usually because of the lack of supervision. Although we might not have vast beaches like other countries, we have to realise that drowning doesn’t only occur there. In fact, it can occur in the public swimming complex or even in the bath tub for those younger ones. Hence, always remember to be around your children and keep an eye for them even if they are having lessons with a certified instructor. Yes, instructors are qualified and will always do their best to ensure your child’s safety. However, some children tend to be more playful compared to others and might wander off on their own. This can lead to drowning within just a matter of a few seconds.
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