First aid

Updated 05 September 2016

Tips to prevent drowning

Drowning victims in South Africa number into the hundreds every year, and most of these deaths could have been avoided with the necessary safety precautions.

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Sadly hundreds of South Africans are victims of drowning each year. In most cases, drowning could have been prevented if simple safety precautions were taken.


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Always supervise children near water, even buckets of water or fish ponds – as little as five centimetres of water could pose a risk for a small child; never leave a child under four alone in the bath, even for a second; ensure that everyone in the family knows how to swim; young children should always wear approved life vests when swimming (inflatable rings and water wings are not effective); fence off your pool and preferably use a pool net as well; when at the beach, only swim in designated areas and if a lifeguard is on duty; no-one, not even adults, should swim alone or when they are intoxicated.

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