Kid drownings are preventable with awareness

Written by: MT Reader | 12 Oct 2017 11:00
Some 500 children drown each year in Malaysia, all of which were probably preventable through awareness
Written by:
12 Oct 2017 11:00

A report I read earlier today stated that some 500 children die each year in this country from drowning.

It may shocking to many, but not to me. 

500 is a huge number, and as saddening and tragic as they may be, I would like to think that these sort of drownings are preventable deaths. 

And that I why I get very upset when I read the article.

According to Perak Clinical Research Centre head Dr Amar Singh, about 500 children drown each year, making it the second highest cause of death among children aged between one and 18 in the country.

31 children aged between two and nine drowned in hotel and theme park swimming pools between January and September this year and 75% involved children below the age of five.

“The people know that dengue is important. But one dengue-related death involving a child is equal to 30 children who will drown. That is the comparison. Drowning is a much bigger problem.

“The main problem in Malaysia is that children try to save others. Their brothers, siblings and friends… that makes two factors which contribute to drowning," he was quoted as saying. 

Dr Amar went on to say that drowning cases involving children in hotel and theme park swimming pools occurred probably because these were open areas with no fences and lifeguards.

I know a friend who lost his child to drowning many years ago. Until this day, he regrets the two minutes he took his eyes off his son just to answer a phone call. 

I have seen this scenario many times in swimming pools, beaches, rivers and waterfalls where adults leave their kids unsupervised. 

The adults forget that their children still need supervision, Children are curious, and some quite mischevious, by nature, 

They have yet to attain a level of intelligence and are still inexperienced to know the difference between safe and dangerous. 

They will wander at times in these places and chances are they will get into trouble. 

As for children going after drowning victims in an attempt to save them, I must agree with Dr Amar.

Once again, children can't totally understand the danger and in desperation will do whatever it takes to save their friends or family members. 

With proper education and awareness, drowning among children can be reduced, or better yet, prevented totally.

Sam J



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