Drowning is preventable. Every child must be able to swim – Children – Egoiste

“Flip safely” founder and leader Zane Gemze’s opinion “Drowning is preventable”.

The notion that “nothing bad can happen” is the cause of many tragedies, including in water. According to the Center for Disease Prevention and Control, drowning and drowning in 2018 are in the fifth place in the statistics on mortality from external causes of death. Drowns more than dies in fires.

We live in delusion – we feel that water is a safe environment and therefore do not follow the rules. In fact, many do not even know about them.

Latvia can be called a water power, because almost every second inhabitant of Latvia lives by the water. The population’s ability to swim is really sad, because surveys show that only 6% of Latvians believe that they can swim. Most have learned it through self-study. The real situation is dire – people’s views on the ability to swim do not match their abilities.

It is also mistaken to believe that children are taught to swim in schools. Last year, the Latvian Swimming Federation in cooperation with the Union of Local Governments conducted a survey, and the results are unsatisfactory. In the fourth part (25%), students of general education institutions do not have the opportunity to attend swimming lessons and, consequently, do not have the opportunity to learn not only swimming, but also fundamental safety skills on the water.

52% of school-age children have poor or moderate swimming skills.

Swimming skills and safe stay on the water

By definition, the ability to swim is the ability to jump into the water, dive and swim for at least 200 meters, including 50 meters on the back. Here, everyone could ask themselves an honest question – can I really do that?

Is the fact that I can, however, just my imagination? Based on the data, it is frightening that people not only do not have the ability to swim, but also do not have an understanding of what safe swimming and being on the water mean in general. Despite the lack of water competence, the latest survey conducted by AAS “Balta” shows that 89% of the population go swimming, of which only 27% feel safe in the water.

Many still have the idea that water is a safe environment and the best place for parties, that any body of water is suitable for swimming and swimming in a storm is an adventure. Many injuries are caused by recklessly throwing yourself in the water or doing it fast. It is important to understand that when we talk about being safe by the water, we are not just talking about drowning, as might be mistaken.

The choice of bathing area is important. Of course, it is safest to swim in official bathing places, in certain bodies of water. Care must be taken to ensure that there are no strong currents or openings in the water. It is also important to avoid swimming alone. You always need at least one person who can see you and be able to call for help or help yourself. Swimming alone will take time for someone to realize that you are missing. Nor is the savior in the water alone.

It is very important not to overestimate your abilities. No one has to prove anything, so it’s important to be honest with yourself and others. By following simple safety rules and improving your water competence, it is possible to prevent tragic events and significantly reduce negative statistics.

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