Drowning is such an important and global issue that 49 countries were represented by 400 delegates at the 2011 World Conference on Drowning Prevention. It was held this year in Da Nang,Vietnam.
The goal of the conference was to “Build a global platform to reduce drowning.” Experts in drowning prevention and government representatives were there to share their strategies for reducing the instances of drowning. News broadcasts in our own area of New York State carry all-too-frequent stories in summer about drowning victims in ponds, rivers, rapidly-moving currents, and public and private swimming pools.
One strategy for safety in water is to teach swimming universally, but drowning prevention is a different concept. For one thing, even excellent swimmers can get into trouble. The expression “in over our heads” didn’t come out of nowhere. Last time I heard it used metaphorically, it meant the panicky feeling of knowing you can’t manage the situation alone.
But if you are the person on the side of the pool, there are several things you can do to help while keeping yourself safe at the same time: Even if you are not a lifeguard, know where there are lifesaving items handy and know how to use them. These include a ring buoy, life jackets, rope, pole, first aid kit, cordless phone and emergency contact information by the pool. Learn CPR before you need it.
And don’t give in to peer pressure about fun in the water. Canadian Red Cross spokesperson, John Mulvehill, Deputy Secretary General-Operations, of the Canadian Red Cross, is quoted as saying “Peer pressure, even at a very young age, can also significantly influence behaviour and encourage youth to act in unsafe ways… “Don’t allow anyone to persuade you to do something you think might be dangerous…”
The wonderful summer weather and all of us in Western New York deserve no less.
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Please note: Articles by the Buffalo Alternative Medicine Examiner are not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For further information or advice, consult your health practitioner.