Nghệ An students warned of the risk of drowning

May 27, 2023 - 11:17
The central province of Nghệ An has launched the movement "All people practice swimming, prevent drowning in 2023” to minimize the risks of drowning and promote the health movement.
Illustration photo

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NGHỆ AN Drowning is a leading cause of death among children, and the central province of Nghệ An has launched a programme to minimise this risk.

At the launching ceremony on May 24, Nghệ An Province’s organisers called for all society to work together in reducing child drowning accidents.

The provincial Department of Culture and Sports leaders and district authorities signed the commitment to implement the safe swimming programme in 2023’s summer.

“Swimming skill and knowledge to prevent drowning are now very urgent and should be concerned by families, schools and local authorities,” said a representative of the provincial Department of Culture and Sports.

Preventing drowning

Ten children have drowned in Đồng Nai Province since April.

“This makes parents feel sad and worried about the increased risk of drowning, especially when summer vacation comes,” said Nguyễn Văn Thế, father of two.

“Drowning will still happen if the living environment around the children has not yet ensured the safety conditions.”

Adults lack management and supervision, and children play outside of adults' eyes. They go to ponds, lakes, and rivers without basic swimming skills, Thế said.

Three drowning accidents occurred from April 2 to 8 at Trị An Lake, Vĩnh Cửu District, killing five students over 16.

Another student died at La Ngà River, Xuân Lộc District, on May 3.

On May 5, at Đồng Nai River (the river section through Tân Vạn Ward, Biên Hòa City), a 12-year-old child drowned.

Senior Colonel Nguyễn Văn Hải, Head of the Police Department for Fire Prevention, Fighting and Rescue, said that in natural ponds, lakes, rivers and streams, the terrain of underground flow was very complex, with many deep pits.

Swimmers in lakes or rivers can easily lose their footing, leading to panic, rapid loss of strength and drowning.

Man-made lakes from construction and exploitation sites near residential areas are also a risk.

Chairwoman of Xuân Hiệp Commune People's Committee Huỳnh Thị Diệu said local authorities had reminded schools and heads of residential areas about the risk of drowning at Gia Măng Lake.

"We emphasise the role of parents in reminding their children, the responsibility of pond and lake owners to barricade and put up warning signs of the risk of drowning,” she said.

Gia Măng Lake, with 130 hectares of water, has long been visited to play, camp and fish.

Đồng Nai Province's Deputy Director of the Education and Training Department, Võ Ngọc Thạch, said that the current conditions of human and financial resources for the drowning accident prevention work were limited.

Many schools don't have funds for drowning prevention.

"Investment for physical training and sports activities in or outside school (swimming pool in school) is still out of the school's ability and local education sector,” Thạch said.

Teachers pass on valuable water-safety skills as part of the official lessons.

The best way, he said, parents should teach their children to swim as soon as possible. If children are well-equipped with drowning prevention skills, drowning accidents will be greatly reduced," he said.

The northern port city of Hải Phòng has 125km of coastline, with five large estuaries flowing into the sea: Bạch Đằng, Cửa Cầm, Lạch Tray, Văn Úc and Thái Bình rivers, and a very large area of rivers, lakes, ponds and streams.

As the Deputy Director of the city’s Department of Culture and Sports, Phạm Thị Tô Trang said the risk of drowning, especially for children in the summer vacation was very likely.

The swimming competitions for teenagers and children were held every year to raise awareness of drowning prevention.

“The award is not only to encourage children to actively participate in swimming to improve their health, but also an opportunity to equip safety skills for them in the water environment, preventing drowning accidents in the flood season,” Trang said. VNS