WITH the recent numbers of drownings and near-drownings, and with many South Africans preparing to head to their holiday destinations, ER14 has urged South Africans to take care while participating in any water sports. Here are a few tips:
· Never allow a child to swim without adult supervision. Also, never leave youngsters unsupervised around water bowls or bathtubs. You can drown in about 2cm of water.
· Ensure children wear life jackets if they cannot swim.
· Keep your pool covered with an approved cover when not in use.
· Do not swim too far out into the ocean. After a while, you may struggle due to fatigue or get swept out due to strong currents.
· Wearing a life jacket is vital. Remember your life jacket when participating in water sports.
· When at the ocean, swim in designated areas that are supervised by lifeguards.
· Never swim alone.
· Never dive or jump into unfamiliar or shallow water.
What to do if someone is drowning
· If you are at the coast and you see a person drowning, alert a lifeguard immediately. If you decide to save the person yourself, ensure you wear a floatation device.
· If you find a person drowning and are able to get them out of the water, initiate CPR if there is no pulse.
· Do not stop CPR unless the victim starts to breathe on his/her own.
· Call for an ambulance and tell them what you are doing.
· Do not put the person in the car and drive to hospital.