According to pediatricians and organizations involved in the National Swimming Safety Plan, the risk of drowning is greatest for children between 0 and 5 years old. “That concerns, for example, babies in the bath, who are lost sight of because the telephone rings. But also toddlers at a ditch, who do not yet recognize the danger of water.”

The figures show that children over the age of 5 pose less of a risk, because they receive swimming lessons.

Yet those children must also be monitored, pediatrician Kieboom calls out, “certainly this year”. Due to the coronavirus and the associated measures, many of them are behind with swimming lessons. “Normally we think with a child of seven: that will be fine. But now it may be that he or she has barely had swimming lessons.”


Even more alertness is the only solution, according to doctors and organizations. “Continually monitoring your child is difficult, but all studies often show that drownings are usually avoidable,” says Kieboom. “You shouldn’t lose sight of children who can’t swim, especially.”

And for children who like to play by the water, the pediatrician advises to put swimming rings on them. “Parents often overestimate the agreements you can make with a child about whether or not to get too close to the water. So they really have to put on tight straps.”

Last year there were several incidents with rip currents. A riparian is an opening between two sandbanks, in which the water flows back to the sea quickly and with great force. The Rescue Brigade warned about this. In this animation you can see how a mouse flow works and what to do: