Have fun in water, but be careful

MUSCAT, JULY 14 – Drowning is a major cause of death in the Sultanate and parents need to take extra caution especially with children under the age of five, said the Ministry of Health. “Parents need to exercise caution and monitor their children as drowning continues to be a major concern,” the ministry said in a statement on Sunday. As temperatures rise in the summer, families move to beaches, wadis and pools to escape from heat, leading to incidents of drowning, especially of children, more likely in the absence of parental control. “Parents should be more cautious while taking children to beaches, swimming pools, wadis etc,” the statement said.

According to figures from the Public Authority for Civil Defence and Ambulance (PACDA), there were 173 drowning incidents in 2017, and 155 incidents in 2018. Major Saud bin Sultan al Mamari, Assistant Director of Civil Defence and Ambulance, said that the first person to come to the rescue of a drowning person is the one who accompanies him as he only can take immediate action. “The first thing you do when you see a drowning person is to know the power of water flow in the sea or a flowing wadi. Because you can’t risk you own life especially if you are not good at swimming”, he said.

Once the person is rescued from the water, do CPR (cardio pulmonary resuscitation) for him then turn him to the left side to get all water out of his body, he advised. Al Mamari stressed that families should take all safety precautions before going for swimming with children like taking safety vest and a rope. They also should keep an eye on them all time. He also emphasised on the importance of avoiding swimming in unclear, troubled water and pay attention to instruction signs.