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Written by Oggar on 29 January 2022

Learn Swimming To Prevent Drowning

The weather is so hot in Singapore that people seek relief in the waters – by cooling themselves in the swimming pools and at the beach. But, while it may be fun, danger lies in the water for those who cannot swim.

Figures from KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital showed 104 drownings and near-drowning accidents between 2011 and 2015. Reference Link: https://www.kkh.com.sg/news/research/one-in-10-cases-of-children-in-submersion-incidents-led-to-drowning-death

Here are links to some recent drowning cases in Singapore:

  1. 14-year-old boy who drowned in the sea off Changi Beach did not know how to swim and panicked when the water level rose (Lydia Lam, published March 18 2021, at 08:14 pm, CNA).

  2. 21-year-old man drowned early on Sunday (March 28) at around 5 am, after swimming in a canal in Serangoon with a group of friends (Cheryl Tan, published MAR 28, 2021, at 8:13 pm, THE STRAITS TIMES). 

  3. 28-year-old man had slipped and fallen into the river, prompting his friend, 26, to jump in to try to save him. But both men soon vanished into the dark waters of the river. The police said yesterday they were alerted to a case of a suspected drowning in the Singapore River near 6 Eu Tong Sen Street - the address of Clarke Quay Central - at 1.57 am (Nadine Chua, published April 19 2021, at 06:00am, THE NEW PAPER)

  4. 5-year-old girl drowned in a condominium pool after her mother left her unattended for about 20 minutes to head home for a toilet break. The incident happened on October 8, 2020, at The Asana condominium located at Queen's Road (Candice Cai, published MAY 09 2021, at 01:47 pm, ASIAONE)

One popular myth about drowning is that the victim will be yelling and splashing the water. It happens only in the movies but not in real life. In reality, drowning is a silent killer. The victims cannot scream as they struggle for air. There is little or no splashing. They may be mistaken as playing when they are struggling by bobbling up and down the water.

Although Singapore has more than 2,000 licensed swimming pools, not all the pools have lifeguards on duty. A joint study by SGH and SCDF has found that lifeguards were not present in seven out of 10 drowning and near-drowning cases.

Parents' Responsibilities:

The onus is on the parents to keep an eye on their children. When a child is in the water,

  1. Parents should not be distracted by looking at their phones.
  2. Parents should not be chatting with people.
  3. Parents should not leave a child alone in the waters.
  4. Be within an arm's reach so help can be dispensed quickly.

There is ONE safety rule that all children must learn to obey. Never get in the water without an adult’s permission. It must be a habit ingrained in them.

Overcoming the Fear

Some people have a traumatic experience in the past. For example, they are afraid of water because they were forced into the water or thrown in without proper preparation. I can help them to overcome their fear.

One of the ways to prevent drowning is to remain calm, breathe deep and slow, and relax. When the body is relaxed, it will be buoyant and float. But when you panic and tense up, the body will sink.

Importance of Knowing How to Swim

Swimming is more than just a sport; it is a life-saving skill that everyone should learn. It is an essential skill that everyone should master. Everyone should learn how to swim because this skill does not come naturally.

Besides teaching kids and adults how to swim, I teach them water safety, confidence, and survival skills in my swimming lessons.

My students will learn these during my swimming lessons:

  • How to overcome their fear of waters
  • How to breathe while swimming
  • How to use their legs, arms, and tread on water
  • How to swim underwater

I include some safety fun games to make the lessons fun. On average, it takes about 50 hours to learn how to swim. By the end of the classes, they will know how to protect themselves from drowning.

Drowning is a real danger. Let's avoid it at all costs. Don't take unnecessary risks. Learn how to swim. It can save your life one day. Besides, swimming is fun. It is an excellent social bonding activity and keeps the children healthy and happy.

Let's learn to swim together with your child.

Article written by Oggar

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