The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.

Why is it important to teach a child to swim in clothes


Source: Letidor

According to the World Health Organization, drowning is the third cause of death from unintentional injuries in the world. According to experts, about 360 000 people drown every year. The highest rates of drowning are in children — the groups from 1 to 4 years and from 5 to 9 years are most at risk.

Photo: Shutterstock

In developed countries, they have long been aware of these risks and are taking appropriate measures. So, in the US, no pool (in a sports complex, a holiday home, and anywhere else) can function if it does not have a lifeguard, there are many certified beaches that care about the safety of people, writes Letidor.

In Russia, rescuers are required to work only in water parks and beaches, approved by the sanitary inspection.

In conventional pools, safety duties are often assigned to coaches who must not only do their job — teach swimming, but also watch every person on the water. In the pools, open on the territories of spa centers, rest houses, and on open reservoirs, no one is watching the safety of the rest.

We don't know how children drown

Rescuer of international class with 22-year work experience Sergey Kovalev is sure that this should not be so.

“Unfortunately, tragedies on the water occur quite often. This is due to two reasons - says Sergey. - First - people do not care about their safety. The second is that many simply do not know what happens when a person drowns and how it looks. ”

We get all the information about drowning people from feature films (often not of very good quality), where the task of the director and actors is to show drowning beautifully and spectacularly. Everybody claps their hands on the water, shouting: “To Dona! Help!".

“In fact, people drown wrong, they drown quietly and silently. Not a single burst or sound
- explains Sergey. - Now the man on the water - in a second already drowned. Especially often this happens with children. ”

Children who cannot swim often drown a meter or two away from their parents. Adults think that the child is near and everything is under control. But he is under control only when he swims almost closely, at arm's length.

Why swim in clothes

The Netherlands is a country abounding in water bodies, and the state, taking care of the safety of its citizens, has developed a special system for teaching swimming, which also includes unusual training on swimming in clothing.

The head of the WST school met this system by chance when he traveled to the Netherlands and witnessed strange activities.

“When I was in Holland, I went to the local pool,” says Sergey. “I began to notice that every time a crowd of 5-10-year-old children was studying on the next path at the same time with me”.

“Right in their clothes, they dived and did different exercises in shoes and jackets. It became interesting to me, and I decided to find out all about it. "

So Sergey got acquainted with the system of teaching swimming, which exists in the Netherlands for the fourth decade.

Since 1984, it has been launched by the National Council for Water Safety, which teaches swimming education. The organization conducts a great educational and practical work, the result of which became 15-million certificates issued to residents of the Netherlands during the existence of the organization (with a population of 17 million 300 thousand people!).

The basis of training consists of three basic levels - A, B and C, which are completed, students receive certificates. Training is voluntary, you can not spend your time on it. However, most citizens prefer to take care of their safety.

On the subject: Sinking kids don't cry: water safety tips that can save lives

In addition, without certificates, you are actually bound hand and foot. Without it, you will be allowed to swim in the pool only with a life jacket or armbands - these are the rules. Level A allows you to freely swim in the pool, Level B - in the water park, C - in open water (canal, sea).

If a group of schoolchildren travels to where the water is supposed to rest, and some of the children do not have a level C certificate, the administration of the educational institution may refuse this child to travel or ask one of the parents to accompany him.

“Of course, the certificate does not guarantee 100% security. However, when a child is able not only to float, but also to swim in clothes, it means that in an emergency he will fight for his life for at least 15-20 minutes, during which time he will be saved, ”says Sergey.

Preparing to receive certificates is possible from 5 years. The child is taught to swim in a breaststroke, crawl, relax on the water, lying on his back. At first he practices in a bathing suit, in shorts and a tank top (level A), then in long pants and a shirt (B), then in a jacket and boots (C).

The first level lasts for 48 hours, the next - for 12 hours each. Classes are held 2-3 once a week.

“They are not guided by the principle of“ faster and better, ”says Sergey. - The website of the Security Council says that fast learning leads to quick forgetting. And I completely agree with that. ”

People drowning because of panic

Classes in clothes are necessary in order for children in clothes in the water to appear, they are not afraid.

“People often drown not because they cannot swim, but because of the panic that covers them when they suddenly find themselves in the water,” explains Sergey. - If a child suddenly fell from a pier in clothes into the water, a huge number of stress factors affect it, which together lead to drowning. The water is often cold, muddy, perhaps there is a flow in it ...

Teaching to move freely in jackets and pants in the water, the Dutch remove at least one of these stress factors and create conditions for children as close to reality as possible. This partly ensures that, falling into the open water, the child will be able to apply their skills. ”

Interestingly, Sergey attaches to life-saving lifejackets no less importance than swimming in clothing.

“The life jacket is cool, but you also need to be able to get into the water and swim in it”.

“If a person is in the water in a vest, this is probably an emergency that happened far from the shore, and here you also need to know how to behave. You won't drown in a life jacket, but there is a high probability of overcooling. Therefore, we teach children how to move correctly if they are in the water in a vest, how to keep warm, as well as how to climb somewhere in it, etc., ”explains Sergey.

However, Sergei is not upset and is sure that over time, people will understand the value of such activities. He believes that it is necessary to talk as much as possible about safety on the water and such activities, and then, perhaps, in 10 years people will not ask the question “Why do I need this?” and will, like the Dutch, take care of themselves and their children.

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