Following several deaths and severe injuries that occurred by drowning in the sea, swimming pools and even bathtubs in recent days, Magen David Adom urged the public to take special care to protect children and to observe safety rules.
The bathing season began on May 1, and there have already been a few related deaths.
The latest tragedy occurred on Wednesday, when a Tel Aviv babysitter who went to the bathroom while leaving infants in a bathtub found one of them upside down with his face in the water upon her return. The infant was taken to the Dana-Dwek Children’s Hospital in critical condition.
This demonstrates that one should never leave infants alone in water, even for a moment. A baby or toddler can drown even in a bucket with a few centimeters of cleaning water inside.
At the poolside and at the beach, adults must always be in eye contact with young children. Private swimming pools must always be gated to prevent children from entering on their own.
Earlier last week, when parents left a 15-year-old babysitter to watch their young child at home in Yavne’el, he slipped away and nearly drowned in the pool. He was taken to Poriya Hospital outside Tiberias in critical condition and was then transferred to the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa.
Earlier this month, two children drowned in Had-Nes in the north and Abu Ghosh near Jerusalem.
During the bathing season last year, 34 children almost drowned at the beach and in swimming pools, and eight of them died. During the bathing season in 2012, 24 children nearly drowned, and 10 of them died.
MDA said one should never bathe where there is no lifeguard on duty or where swimming is prohibited. When in the water, always keep an eye on the lifeguard; if you can’t see him, he probably can’t see you. Parents and babysitters must learn and practice lifesaving techniques.
It added that everyone should be aware of their swimming abilities and shouldn’t go out farther than is safe.
Inflated plastic “lifesavers” and similar devices cannot always save children from drowning, MDA warned.
If a swimmer swallows water and is not breathing, bring him or her to a safe place far from the waterline and perform heart massage until MDA (telephone 101) arrives.
Even if feeling well, the swimmer must be taken to the hospital for a checkup.