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HMC stresses importance of following safety measures in beaches and swimming pools

Jun 27, 2020

Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has stressed the importance of taking the necessary measures and precautions when visiting beaches and swimming pools, in order to avoid risks of drowning.

Dr Khalid Abdulnoor, Senior Consultant Emergency Medicine and Director of the Hamad International Training Center at Hamad Medical Corporation, said that drowning is the third most important cause - 7 percent - of unintentional injuries worldwide.

Death due to drowning is considered as one of the main causes of death and severe disability among children in Qatar.

Dr Abdulnoor noted that 90 percent of the total cases of drowning are among children aged 10 years and under, while it reaches 70 percent of the total cases of drowning for children under 4 years.

He added that most incidents of drowning occur at this time of year at sea, coinciding with the families resorting to the beaches for enjoyment and entertainment, as well as in swimming pools, whether external or home, where the risk factors increase when parents are not accompanying their children while swimming.

He stressed the importance of adopting precautionary measures to prevent accidents of drowning, including those related to swimming pools at home, where safety standards must be adhered to in terms of building tight fences around the pools, which in turn hinder children's access to them in the case parents are not attending.

For his part, Dr. Mahmoud Younis, Assistant Executive Director of Health Education and Community Participation at Hamad International Training Center, reviewed a number of advice and procedures that families must follow when going to the beaches or when allowing their children to go to swimming pools, the most important of which is to follow the meteorological information before going to beaches to avoid strong winds and high waves, which exposes severe consequences, and follow safety instructions while swimming at beaches or swimming pools, and the need to follow children while swimming and make sure they are in the places designated for them with constant monitoring by parents, especially that drowning takes place in few minutes .

Children should also wear a swimming jacket or safety aid, learn how to swim in addition to the importance of learning how to perform CPR (artificial respiration).

Likewise, potential sources of danger other than swimming pools are bathtubs inside toilets. Doors to toilets and swimming pools should always be closed after use. 

Dr. Mahmoud Younis warned that a person could suffer severe disability in some cases despite the success of recovery process as a result of drowning, explaining that how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (artificial respiration) can have great benefit as the first minutes play important and vital role in saving a person.