It seems that you can’t open a newspaper in Spain at the moment without reading about yet another drowning incident.
We’ve been reading about so many drownings over the past week including the death of Presley Stockton, a 4 year-old boy from Wigan, Greater Manchester who drowned in a swimming pool at the Paradise Park Fun Lifestyle Hotel in Los Cristianos, Tenerife.
This is truly heartbreaking! As a parent myself, this completely saddens me!
Yet the fact remains that each year, hundreds of people die here in Spain from drowning in the sea, swimming pools and lakes. In 2017 alone, 480 people lost their lives, many of them young children on holiday with their families.
But what can be done to prevent further tragedies like these happening and why have there been so many incidents recently?
It's no coincidence that many of the deaths tend to occur during the summer months when the country receives a large influx of holidaymakers. This could be one of the reasons, but doesn’t make such news stories any easier to stomach.
Some people are under the impression that when children drown at holiday resorts or at the beach that it’s just a case of neglect and that the parents were too busy knocking back Sangria’s rather than looking after the safety of their children, but this simply isn’t the case.
I consider myself a good parent yet nearly lost my own son when he was very young. My wife and I were at the pool and were actually standing just feet away from him when unbeknown to us he had somehow slipped into the pool and was under the water within seconds. Fortunately, we turned around in time to see him submerged and trying to get to the surface. A few moments later and it could have so easily have been a terrible tragedy. After being pulled out, he was a little shaken, but other than that was fine. Others haven’t been so lucky!
On a similar occasion my wife was at the pool and a lady had turned her back on her child to clear her things away ready to leave when her small child fell into the pool. Fortunately, my wife was aware and jumped into the pool to prevent the child drowning. It could have so easily have been another tragic loss. Just another yearly drowning statistic...
The point I am trying to make is that it’s SO EASY for a child to drown. It takes literally SECONDS to lose sight of a child and for them to get into difficulty.
It doesn’t only happen when there is nobody around. Drownings can just as easily happen when there are other people present. People are often under the impression that their children are safer as there are more people around, but there are no guarantees.
In a recent news story, Steven Tartt from Merseyside, saved TWO children from drowning after he spotted them at the bottom of a hotel pool in Menorca. There was a lifeguard on duty at the time, but he was ‘too relaxed’ while listening to his music to notice the drowning children!
So how can we keep children safe at the pool and beach?
Tips for Keeping Children Safe
What to Do If You Find A Child Drowning?
It’s important that we all know how to treat a child if they are rescued from drowning.
Please find out more about CPR at the following online resources.