Swimming: good habits this summer

Health authorities are particularly urging caution this year as children have learned less to swim due to the closing of the swimming pools. How to limit the risks? What is thermal shock? What risks of contamination by Covid at the swimming pool or at the sea?

It is unfortunately a recurring subject every year when the good weather arrives: drownings have started to claim the first victims and health authorities particularly call for vigilance this year.

Each year, drownings are responsible for around 1,000 deaths in France, about half of which between June and September. It is also the leading cause of death by accident in everyday life among people under 25!

According to Public Health France, the risks will be particularly increased this summer because of the pandemic which has caused the closure of municipal swimming pools, and therefore limited the learning of swimming among children.

IN VIDEO: swimming, good reflexes with BFM TV Paris

How to prevent drowning of children?

First tip: teach children to swim as early as possible.

And especially : never leave a child unattended. Either we bathe with him, or it is 1 child who bathes must be under the supervision of 1 responsible adult.

Although no device can replace human vigilance, private pool owners must equip it with a safety device. Remember to remove the ladder from above ground swimming pools as well as toys and balls from the surface of the water so as not to attract children.

Drowning adults: do you have the right reflexes?

For those over 65, it is above all the sea that is a source of danger. While, for people of middle age, the critical sites are more rivers, streams or bodies of water. So you have to be vigilant at any age.

These drownings are associated with 2 main causes: alcohol consumption and the practice of unsupervised activities in places most of which are prohibited for swimming and therefore unsupervised.

The tips to remember :

1-bathe in supervised places,

2-take into account your state of form: do not bathe if you feel tired

3-do not bathe after drinking alcohol

4-avoid exposing yourself to the sun for too long before swimming, especially in scorching weather. Indeed the number of drownings is multiplied by 3 during heat peaks.

In people over 65, drowning is linked in half of cases to discomfort caused by thermal shock (or hydrocution), which can occur when the difference between the temperature of the water and that of the body is important.

5-learn to swim if you have forgotten (or never learned)

In France, 1 in 6 French people cannot swim, 35% of whom are between 65 and 75 years old. Sometimes we have simply never learned to swim, sometimes we have forgotten or we can have apprehensions with the aquatic environment, especially in the ocean.

You should know that‘it is possible to learn to swim at any age.

How to avoid thermal shock (or hydrocution)?

You have often been told that you have to wait 3 hours after the meal to swim. So justified or not? It is true that digestion tends to increase the temperature of the body, therefore can accentuate the thermal shock when one enters the water. But this is especially true after a large and rich meal. This is less the case if you have eaten light.

And in reality, it is mainly prolonged exposure to the sun and heat that are to blame, as well as excessive alcohol consumption that increases the risk of discomfort.

To remember ! The more gradually you enter the water, the more you limit the risks because you give your body time to get used to the change in temperature. So we wet the head, the back of the neck, then the stomach and we avoid diving in the pool.

Signs of thermal shock:

  • Cramps, chills
  • Visual or hearing disturbances
  • Headaches that appear suddenly
  • Itches
  • Feeling suddenly unwell or tired

Obviously, you have to ask for help and get out of the water immediately to dry yourself. And if the signs do not go away quickly, call for help.

Covid-19: should we fear contamination in the swimming pool or at sea?

The risk is almost zero at the swimming pool for the simple reason that swimming pool waters are treated with disinfectants, in particular chlorine, which makes the virus inactive and therefore non-contagious. In fact, the risk of contamination is mainly linked to the proximity to swimmers that you meet in the changing rooms or in passageways. So a tip keep your distance!

And then with regard to sea ​​water, there is no risk according to Ifremer researchers.

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Source: Topsante.com by www.topsante.com.

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