Sunny afternoons in the water are among many people's fondest childhood memories. Most likely, you don't give much thought to the fact that accidents happen time and again: Around 50 people drown in Switzerland every year, including three children up to the age of nine. According to the Swiss Competence Center for Accident Prevention (cap), drowning is the second most frequent cause of accidental death among children, with only road accidents causing more deaths. The cap estimates that for every fatal water-related accident, there is another that causes lasting damage.
A silent death
Always stay within easy reach of small children.
Once rescued, a child who has been underwater involuntarily for more than a few seconds should be placed on their side and given artificial respiration if necessary. The important thing is to keep a sharp eye on the child over the following 24 hours, because in certain cases children can suffer from "dry drowning", when water has accumulated in the lungs and blocks the airways hours later.
Simulation of risk situations
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Water is a wonderful element. Nobody should be afraid of it, but a healthy respect among children and adults is important so that dangerous situations can be avoided effectively.
Marc Bächler, cap media spokesperson