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Learn to swim to avoid drowning, PNP advises public

April 3, 2024 Alfred P. Dalizon 86 views

SwimFILIPINOS, including members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and other law enforcement agencies have been advised to learn to swim and help save lives amid the growing number of drowning incidents lately.

Drowning has been previously tagged as the second leading cause of death among Filipino children aged 14 years and below and the fourth leading cause of death from injuries in the country, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund.

Being good at swimming gives everybody an above average fighting chance in surviving a maritime accident or just in saving anyone in danger of getting drowned.

In law enforcement, swimming skills allow officers to rescue anybody in water, subdue suspects and survive in water.

Thus, basic techniques for performing various on-duty actions in water is a must, particularly among Philippine Navy, Philippine Coast Guard and the PNP Maritime Group members.

There were findings that a surprising number of Filipinos, even those living by the sea, do not have basic swimming skills.

These findings prompted the Department of Health to come up with a National Framework of Action on Drowning Prevention as the first major step in the fulfillment of its commitment to eliminate drowning in the country.

The measure aimed to reduce the risk of drowning and near-drowning among high risk groups, more particularly children, as a result of aquatic activities.

To avoid drowning, the DOH recommended close child supervision, wearing of flotation devices, participation in water safety awareness activities and training programs on first aid, basic life support and basic survival swimming for both children and adults.

Previous government data showed that drowning rates were highest among boys and girls aged less than 5 years old compared to other age groups and higher among females than males for all age groups.

It said that drowning rates were higher among males under 5 years and among those under 15 years compared to females of the same ages.

This gender difference is largest for male toddlers whose relative risk for drowning death is 1.5 times higher than female toddlers.

The PNP said that from January to March this year, a total of 212 Filipinos drowned in beaches and rivers across the country. Another eight were also injured for the same reason.

The highest number of fatalities were in Western Visayas, 28; Calabarzon, 27; and Central Luzon, 20.

Majority of the incidents took place in rivers and beaches while several were recorded in swimming pools. Records also showed that 184 of the fatalities were males while 39 were females.

The ages of the victims were listed from 5 to 63.

From March 25 to March 29 alone, the PNP recorded eight drowning victims, six of them minors and the two other adults.

Two of the young drowning victims were from Cagayan Valley while the rest were from Regions 1, 5, 8 and 11.

The adult fatalities were from Central Luzon and Calabarzon, respectively.