WHAT FAM­I­LIES

New Straits Times - - Letters -

SEVEN boys aged be­tween 10 and 12 drowned at Bukit Berun­tung re­cently. This could have been pre­vented. The Perak Clin­i­cal Re­search Cen­tre has con­ducted ex­ten­sive re­search on drown­ing in­volv­ing chil­dren over the years. The key facts are:

500 chil­dren drown ev­ery year in Malaysia;

This is the sec­ond most com­mon cause of death in chil­dren aged 1 to 18; and,

Half of these deaths are due to chil­dren try­ing to save other chil­dren.

We have com­mu­ni­cated our data, re­ports and pub­li­ca­tions to the rel­e­vant gov­ern­ment agen­cies, non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions and the me­dia. We have also tried to bring it to the at­ten­tion of all par­ents.

Our data and ef­forts have helped in the es­tab­lish­ment of a Na­tional Drown­ing Safety Coun­cil and, re­cently, the Na­tional Child­hood Drown­ing Registry.

How­ever, the key mes­sages have yet to reach our pub­lic. Ev­ery par­ent needs to know the size of this prob­lem and com­mu­ni­cate to chil­dren that:

No child should at­tempt to save an­other child who is drown­ing;

You are not a hero if you try and save some­one who is drown­ing;

You are not a vil­lain or a fail­ure if you did not try to save some­one who is drown­ing; and,

If you see some­one who is drown­ing, call for an adult to help, don’t jump in your­self.

The me­dia must also re­frain from prais­ing a child for sav­ing an­other child who is drown­ing. It is dan­ger­ous for any child to do so. All par­ents must speak to their chil­dren about this im­por­tant is­sue and warn them to get help, not jump in.

TUES­DAY, MARCH 21, 2017

DATUK DR AMAR-SINGH HSS

Se­nior Con­sul­tant Pae­di­a­tri­cian; Head Pae­di­atric Depart­ment, Raja Per­maisuri Bainun Hos­pi­tal; Head Clin­i­cal Re­search Cen­tre, Ipoh, Perak

Fire and Rescue per­son­nel had helped in the search at Kam­pung Timah in Bukit Berun­tung.

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