Guidelines for safe recreation at sea and in the pool

Guidelines for safe recreation at sea and in the pool

The bathing season officially started this week, and with it the fear of children and teenagers drowning. Drowning is the second most common cause of accidental death among children. Young children can drown even in shallow water a few centimeters deep. Drowning happens quickly and silently in one moment of inattention.

According to data from an organization before children's safety, in the last five years (2018-2023), during the bathing seasons, 99 children and teenagers drowned. The data also shows that 45% of the cases occurred in water sources in nature and at sea. 33% of the cases occurred in the pool. Examining risk groups, it appears that toddlers and teenagers are at excessive risk. Over 40% of drowning cases were among toddlers aged 0-4 only, and 26% of cases were among teenagers aged 15-17.

Orly Silvinger, CEO of the Betra organization for child safety: “In recent years, child drownings have become a scourge. Especially now, during the Passover holiday, many families go out to spend time at the water sources, the sea and the pool. This year, following the war and the search for nearby and cheap places to spend time, there is a fear of an increase in the rate of drownings.'

“Families and teenagers are expected to come to the beaches and pools and spend time there beyond bathing hours. Every year we call for the adoption of safe behavior habits in every visit to a water source. This year, more than ever, I am calling parents – don't tell me it won't happen. Do not take your eyes off the children at any time when they are in the water environment. Enter the sea only when there is a lifeguard and bathing is allowed. We make sure that the youth also know the dangers and the safety rules in order to get through the holiday and the summer safely,” Orli added.

The organization's safety guidelines before having a safe time in the sea and pool

• Enter the sea only on declared beaches and during the hours when the rescue services are active.
• In a water environment, determine at any given moment a responsible adult to watch over the children. Within touching distance and without distractions.
• In the sea and in the pool, obey the lifeguard's instructions.
• The youth are taught not to enter the sea alone, but accompanied by an adult or at least one other friend.
• Domestic pools, tubs and bathtubs, are emptied immediately after use.
• On vacation, make sure before ordering that the pool is fenced and has a gate with an automatic lock.
• Sea wheels are dangerous to use. Hand gloves are recommended for use but are not a substitute for close supervision.
• Swimming lessons are recommended from the age of 4, depending on the child's abilities.

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