Drowning … is Silent

ummer is here, and so are the temperatures we’ve been waiting for. There is nothing more wonderful than a day at the Badi, the lake, a river. And there are plenty of those in Switzerland.

Children drown silently. In a lake, the pool, in a paddling pool, the bath tun and in puddles with more than 10cm of water depth. Even if they are wearing floaties.

They drown while you’re quickly going to the toilet or are getting changed in the changing room (I’ll be gone for just a minute).

Children don’t call for help. The don’t wave with their arms. They don’t splash. They are just gone …

And nothing will be the same … ever again.

NEVER leave small children in or near water unattended and always within reach.

Floaties of any kind are toys, not life saving accessories or floats.

Studies from the US prove that children drown because adults neglected their responsibility to supervise the children. In 9 out of 10 drowning incidents children were no longer within sight of the supervising family member.

A lack of safety awareness is the reason behind this: half of all parents stated that they are not worried that their child could drown.


Small children can drown in as little as 10cm of water if they fall forward into water: their head is much larger in proportion to their body and this pulls it down and they lose orientation when their face is under water. They are unable to push themselves out of the water. Children drown in silence … because they don’t manage to get up above the surface.

Teaching children to swim is the next best to prevent drowning. Paediatricians recommend children to start learning to swim from four years.

Teach your babysitter, the grandparents and any other adult supervising children appropriately when outdoors and near water.

Other safety tips your children should learn once they reach kindergarten age are:

  • never go swimming with a full stomach.
  • take a cooling down shower before you go swimming.
  • only jump into water if you know that the water is deep enough and safe.
  • don’t go into muddy water or where there are lots of underwater plants.
  • don’t go swimming during a thunderstorm.
  • don’t call for help unless you really need help.

Posted on July 18, 2019 by Luitgard Holzleg

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