Swimming pools more dangerous than the sea

6th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

6 August 2004, MADRID - Far more people drown in accidents in swimming pools in Spain than in the sea according to the Red Cross. Some 80 percent of deaths occur in pools, especially private ones, with children under four being the main victims.

6 August 2004

MADRID - Far more people drown in accidents in swimming pools in Spain than in the sea according to the Red Cross. Some 80 percent of  deaths occur in pools, especially private ones, with children under four being the main victims.

The number of people who drown in Spain each year ranges from between 70 to 150 according to World Health Organisation figures quoted by the Red Cross on Friday as part of its "Prevenir es vivir" –  ‘to be prepared is to live' - campaign.

But it is not only deaths they are trying to prevent. Swimming accidents, where people hit their heads on diving into shallow or unknown waters, account for around 6 percent of all spinal injuries in Spain.

One common incident leading to accidents is when people jump into cold water after lying in the sun or simply spend too much time in the water, which often cuts the blood and oxygen supply to the brain. This can be especially dangerous when people have just eaten a full meal or drunk a lot of alcohol, the Red Cross adds.

It recommends waiting two to three hours and then entering the water slowly.

The organisation also warns of other frequent injuries, such as those caused by jelly fish, sea urchins and other marine animals; and insects biting; although the biggest danger in sea swimming is from lack of knowledge of tides and currents it adds.

This is the third year of the "Prevenir es Vivir" campaign in which the Red Cross distributes leaflets and posters with advice for bathers.

Among its recommendations are:

  • People swim in areas where there are lifeguards or at least other people around who can be called on in case of need.
  • Respect for the coloured warning flags – where red means ‘no swimming' and yellow signifies precaution, going no deeper than your waist.
  • Not to dive into water when you don't know how deep it is, and
  • Keeping a close watch on small children at all times

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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