Swimming accidents: “Children drown in 90 seconds”

Swimming accidents: “Children drown in 90 seconds”

Swimming training is important for everyone

The DLRG warns that when children drown, they go into shock and cannot make themselves felt.

The DLRG warns that when children drown, they go into shock and cannot make themselves felt.

© Source: DLRG – German Life Saving

According to the DLRG, children who cannot swim should not go swimming unsupervised. Especially unguarded deep waters with currents can very quickly become life-threatening. Swimming training is all the more important – for adults too.

Düsseldorf. In view of the serious swimming accidents in recent years, the German Life Saving Society warns against letting younger children swim unsupervised. “Children drown in 30 to 90 seconds,” said the spokeswoman for the DLRG North Rhine, Maike Waschnewski, on Thursday.

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Children drown quickly and silently

They typically go into shock, crane their necks, and gasp upwards. The glottis closed up so that the children could not even call for help. “Children drown very quickly and without making a sound.”

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When bathing in unguarded waters, dangerous situations occur again and again. A certain group is particularly at risk.

© Source: dpa

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Swimming is also often done in waters where swimming is prohibited. Swimming in the Rhine, for example, is life-threatening because of the extremely strong currents and the high bow and stern waves of the cargo ships, even for adults who are experienced swimmers, for children it is “pretty deadly,” said Waschnewski. Despite all the appeals, people still swim in the river. A ban can hardly be enforced. “We can’t fence off the whole river.”

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Swimming education is vital at any age

The DLRG spokeswoman complained that the swimming training of children and adults left a lot to be desired. Many municipalities have saved on pools and monitored water areas for years. The fewer swimming pools are too far away for many schools to actually teach primary school children to swim in the short time available. “We have a huge hole in non-swimmers.”

The corona pandemic has exacerbated the problem, said the spokeswoman. Many people who went into the water now would not have practiced swimming for a year or two because of the lockdowns. Public swimming pools still often only offer limited opening times. People therefore use unsupervised and often free offers, forget their lack of training and overestimate themselves in the water.


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