In my opinion it should never occur, but unfortunately, each year, a significant number of drownings are reported. They are more common among younger children, more common during holidays, and more likely toward sunset. They may occur at beaches, but with the proliferation of backyard swimming pools in recent years, lots of backyard drownings are occurring. They are more common in private pools than better supervised public ones – this is worth bearing in mind.
Also, it is possible for a child to drown in a few centimetres of water. A fall, leading to temporary stunning with the face. nose and mouth submerged, has led to quite a few fatalities in recent times. Parents should be alerted to these possibilities.
Drowning is more common when the children at play are unsupervised. Stupidity and skylarking with older children has also led to unfortunate accidents. Ideally, an adult should be present when children are using pools, or at the surf. A major no-no are dams in rural places. Even in hot weather, while the upper few centimetres of water may be warm, underneath it is likely to be extremely cold, and this seems to increase the risk of cramps and drowning. Never swim in unknown waterways or where there are chances of hidden debris being just under the surface.
It’s possible for children to become good swimmers in the first year of life. Training must continue, for they often forget after a break. The sooner children learn how to swim and save themselves from a potentially dangerous situation, the better.
Ideally older children and parents should know the basics of artificial resuscitation. Knowing how to initiate breathing, and also how to start a heart beating once more after it has ceased is imperative if you wish to be of maximum help to a person who has suddenly “died” for any reason. Drownings probably head the list with children, but electrocution and other situations may also require this as an emergency measure.