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8 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Increasing drowning incidents

One of the most important ways to reduce drowning is to teach children how to swim
Increasing drowning incidents

According to a recent report published in this newspaper two schoolgirls drowned in Atrai village of Dinajpur district. In Bangladesh the largest cause of death of children above age one is not malnutrition or disease -- it’s drowning. Those which were leading killers of children 20 or 30 years ago are no longer that.

Drowning has risen to the fore and has become apparently an invisible epidemic. An estimated 18,000 children drown each year in Bangladesh. And what is more shocking is the fact that most of the drowning happens within 20 metres of the residence.

Most of the deaths occur in rural areas during the day between 9am and 2pm when the child is left unsupervised because the parents are busy with chores. Drowning is a public health issue that has escaped attention for many years, primarily because the child who drowns in rural areas of this country very rarely gets to the hospital.

The most effective way to prevent child drowning is through active supervision. Children should be taught how to be safe around water, and they always should be supervised. It only takes a few seconds and a few inches of water for a child to drown because they often panic and don't know how to react to save themselves. One of the most important ways to reduce drowning is to teach children to swim.

We believe it as part of education in the primary and secondary level to reduce drowning deaths. Since it would be hugely expensive to build swimming pools all around the country local ponds and lakes can be converted into safe training facilities. Putting up fences around ponds and bodies of water near residential areas can help protect toddlers from drowning. If people are given proper training in mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and chest compression, it could help reduce the number of child lives lost to drowning.

It is also very important to encourage families to ensure that their daughters learn how to swim. Young girls are all too often the victims, taken out of school or forced into marriages very young, thus never learning to swim and unable to pass these life-saving skills on to their children.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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