22 Jan Do You Know Why Swimming Is An Essential Life Skill?
Do you know that drowning is the 3rd leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide, accounting for 7% of all injury-related deaths? (Drowning is the process of experiencing respiratory impairment from submersion/immersion in liquid; outcomes are classified as death, morbidity, and no morbidity) That’s why swimming is a life skill you must know and so are your children. Let me show you the data report from WHO.
According to WHO latest data report, there are an estimated 320 000 annual drowning deaths worldwide. In 2016, an estimated 320 000 people died from drowning, making drowning a major public health problem worldwide. In 2015, injuries accounted for over 9% of total global mortality, including:
- Low- and middle-income countries account for over 90% of unintentional drowning deaths;
- Over half of the world’s drowning occurs in the Western Pacific Region and South-East Asia Region;
- Drowning death rates are highest in the African Region, and are 15-20 times higher than those seen in Germany or the United Kingdom, respectively.
Why is the rate of drowning death so high?
There are several factors leading to death by drowning, we can name it as the following:
The Global report on drowning (2014) shows that age is one of the major risk factors for drowning. This relationship is often associated with a lapse in supervision. Globally, the highest drowning rates are among children 1–4 years, followed by children 5–9 years. In the Western Pacific Region children aged 5–14 years die more frequently from drowning than any other cause.
Males are especially at risk of drowning, with twice the overall mortality rate of females. They are more likely to be hospitalized than females for non-fatal drowning. Studies suggest that the higher drowning rates among males are due to increased exposure to water and riskier behavior such as swimming alone, drinking alcohol before swimming alone, and boating.
Access to water
Increased access to water is another risk factor for drowning. Individuals with occupations such as commercial fishing or fishing for subsistence, using small boats in low-income countries are more prone to drowning. Children who live near open water sources, such as ditches, ponds, irrigation channels, or pools are especially at risk.
Drowning accounts for 75% of deaths in flood disasters. Flood disasters are becoming more frequent and this trend is expected to continue. Drowning risks increase with floods particularly in low- and middle-income countries where people live in flood-prone areas and the ability to warn, evacuate, or protect communities from floods is weak or only just developing.
Many of method to prevent drowning has been brought up like installing barriers (e.g. covering wells, using doorway barriers and playpens, fencing swimming pools, etc) to control access to water hazards, or removing water hazards, even supervised child care for pre-school. But the best effective way is swimming.
How does swimming help reducing drowning?
Swimming has many benefits and applications in life, marking it as an important life skill everyone needs to learn whether as a child or in adulthood. It is never too late to learn! The younger you can get a baby or toddler into the water, the sooner it will get rid of any fear.
First and foremost, knowing how to swim can save your child’s or your life or even a stranger’s life. Even if your child doesn’t want to get in the water, it only takes a few seconds for them to trip and fall in. This can happen at a friend’s house when you are out on a boat, or at a cottage on the lake, or on vacation. Knowing how to swim can help them swim safely to the shore or side of the pool, or at the very least keep their head above water until help arrives.
Being able to swim opens up a lot of recreational possibilities you couldn’t engage in otherwise. Surfing, kayaking, boat fishing, water polo, scuba diving, and snorkeling are a few of the fun water activities you would sorely miss out on if you didn’t know how to swim.
There are a few safety tips to practice when in and around the water you can refer to:
Those things above are just to be cautioned. If you don’t want to miss out all the fun activities and want yourself to be useful for any circumstances, learn how to swim now. You may not know when or where you gonna need it.