In unguarded lakes, most drowning deaths occur
It is summer, the sun is burning. The temperatures reach over 30 degrees in places and tempt many to jump into the cool water. However, this should be done in a guarded swimming lake or in a pool, because the risk of drowning is up to eight times higher for teenagers and adolescents in an unguarded lake or river than in a pool. The majority of drowning cases among adolescents occur on unguarded rivers and lakes.
"Teenagers often overestimate their ability to swim," warns Dr. Ulrich Fegeler in a press release from the Parents' Portal Pediatricians in the Internet. If you swim well in the pool, you are far from being a safe swimmer in other waters, because many unknown dangers lurk in lakes, rivers and also in the sea.
Currents, visibility, distances
The expert names some of the sources of danger: “Dangerous slopes, strong currents, distances that are difficult to assess and restricted visibility.” Parents should be aware of these risks and also educate their children.
Alcohol on bathing trips can have fatal consequences
Adolescents in particular should be aware that alcohol consumption in combination with swimming can be extremely dangerous. "Alcohol consumption causes the blood vessels to dilate, making the body particularly sensitive to sudden contact with cold water," explains the doctor. Even at water temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius, rapid cooling can take place. Furthermore, the muscular strength and the coordination ability decrease. But the risk appetite increases. Even experienced and good swimmers would quickly tire under the influence of alcohol, the expert warns.
Any water can be dangerous for young children
"Any water can be dangerous for small children," Fegeler continues. A small paddling pool is enough here if parents take a quick look at their child. According to the Deutsche Lebens-Rettungs-Gesellschaft (DLRG), five children of elementary school age, nine of preschool age and 30 adolescents and young adults between the ages of 11 and 20 died in water in 2017. (vb)