CPS: “Anyone can drown, no one should.” Prevent Drowning this Summer Holiday Season

July 25, 2023  -GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – 236,000 people die from drowning every year; 2.5 million deaths over the past decade. Tuesday, July 25 marks World Drowning Prevention Day under the theme, “Anyone can drown, no one should.”

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) Section Youth Health Care from the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA) is calling on parents, guardians and all others who take advantage of our beaches, and those making use of swimming pools, to remain vigilant for the summer holiday season as drowning is entirely preventable.

Globally, the highest drowning rates occur among children aged 1-4 years, followed by children aged 5-9 years.

Always ensure children are constantly supervised by a responsible adult when around water: whether near a beach, swimming pool or bathtub, adult supervision is necessary to ensure that children can enjoy water safely. It is critical for supervising adults to remain vigilant and avoid distractions so that they can respond quickly if a child needs help.

In 2023, the 76th World Health Assembly adopted its first ever resolution on drowning prevention. The resolution accepts the invitation of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly for the World Health Organization (WHO) to coordinate actions within the UN system on drowning prevention and facilitate the observance of World Drowning Prevention Day on 25 July each year.

To mark this year’s World Drowning Prevention Day, WHO will continue to focus on raising awareness on drowning as a public health issue, reminding people that anyone can drown, but no one should.

The WHO is also raising awareness on the six evidence-based, low-cost drowning prevention interventions that countries and organizations can use to drastically reduce the risk of drowning.

The six interventions are: train bystanders in safe rescue and resuscitation; set and enforce safe boating, shipping, and ferry regulations; improve flood risk management; install barriers controlling access to water; provide safe places away from water for pre-school children, with capable childcare; and teach school-age children basic swimming, water safety and safe rescue skills.

Learning basic swimming and water safety skills greatly reduces the risk of drowning. This is particularly important for children aged six (6) years and above. Not only is swimming a skill for life, but it is also a great way to stay fit and active.

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