Andrew Ingram, NSRI National Drowning Prevention Manager, said:
We estimate that 600 children drown each year in South Africa. 15 May is International Water Safety day and this year we would like to focus attention on those most at risk of drowning – children under the age of five.
The places that toddlers face the greatest danger from water is in, and near to their home.
Parents and care givers – please make sure that any stored water in or close to your home is child safe. Buckets, tanks and basins should be securely closed or inaccessible to children.
The World Health Organisation suggests four interventions that will protect children from drowning:
Install barriers controlling access to water; provide safe places away from water for pre-school children, with capable child care; teach school age children water safety and swimming skills and train bystanders in safe rescue and resuscitation.
Children can drown in only a few centimetres of water. Please make sure that your home is water safe.