Approximately 600 children and 200 adults die each year.
The fatal drowning burden in SA is approximately 3 every 100 000 people. But is increasing as a portion of all non-natural deaths.
DROWNING STATISTICS PER PROVINCE:
Children under the age of 15 years old account for 30.2% of all fatal drownings in the country, while the highest mortality rate occurring in children under the age of 5 years old.
The World Health Organization African region accounts for approximately 20% of global drownings, with a drowning mortality rate of 13.1 per 100 000 population.
SEASONAL DROWNING STATISTICS OF SOUTH AFRICA.
What is Drowning?
The process of experiencing respiratory impairment from submersion/immersion in liquid.
Fact: young children can drown in 6cm of water in less than a minute!!
In Pretoria drowning deaths are most common among children, who die in swimming pools.
Infants under one year represent an inordinately high percentage of cases.
What is dry drowning?
Happens when a person inhales water through the nose or mouth, causing the vocal cords to go into a spasm.
It’s called “dry” because water doesn’t reach the lungs.
Vocal cords don’t relax, and airways are blocked.
What is secondary/delayed drowning?
Happens when water enters the lungs, causing inflammation or swelling.
The swelling can occur hours or even days after the initial incident.
Death from delayed drowning is due to swelling of the small air sacs in the lungs.
Where may an incident occur?
1. Pet water bowls
7.Ditches filled with water
CONSTANT ADULT SUPERVISION REMAINS THE MOST IMPORTANT IN PREVENTING DROWNING.
Give them your undivided attention. Avoid any distractions while supervising children in or around water.
Always be on the lookout for possible dangers. Inspect your home, vacation accommodation and when visiting other homes for possible water hazards.
Children should be trained in water survival skills – floating and treading water without buoyancy aid in everyday clothing from as young as 6 months old. Swimming lessons can then follow.
Swimming pools must be properly fenced off and have a childproof lock on the gate. The gate must never be left open.
Add a professionally installed SABS approved pool safety net to cover your pool. Jacuzzis and spa’s need to be covered when not in use.
Everybody in your home and care givers should be trained in save rescue skills, first aid, especially CPR.
What to look out for if your child suffered a mild to heavy blow to the head:
MILD HEAD INJURIES SYMPTOMS:
3.A MILD HEADACHE
4.FEELING SICK OR NAUSEATED
MODERATE HEAD INJURIES SYMPTOMS:
1.PASSING OUT FOR A SHORT TIME
2.CONFUSION OR DISTRACTION
4. A LASTING HEADACHE
5.TEMPORARY CHANGES IN BEHAVIOR
7.LOSS OF BALANCE
First aid for head injuries:
- Apply a cold pack to the area to reduce the swelling.
- Do not return to the swimming pool following any type of injury to the head!
- For bleeding: apply pressure with a bandage or piece of clothing to stop bleeding.
- For major head injuries call an ambulance immediately!
- While waiting for the ambulance keep the patient’s head still and minimize movement of the head.
- NB! DON’T STOP ANY BLEEDING OUT OF THE EARS.
You should take the following steps if you’re in a situation that requires CPR:
- Check if the person is conscious or unconscious.
- If the person seems to be unconscious, tap or shake his or her shoulder and ask loudly,” Are you okay”.
- If the person doesn’t respond and 2 people are available, 1 should call an ambulance.
- If you’re alone and have immediate access to a telephone, call the ambulance yourself before beginning CPR.
- If you think the person has become unresponsive because of suffocation (such as from drowning), begin CPR for 1 minute and then call an ambulance.
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