UAE drownings: Don't leave children unattended, warn Abu Dhabi Police
Families should not allow children to enter the seawater without the supervision of an adult.
Many families are visiting sea beaches on weekends to cool themselves, as temperatures are soaring upwards of 40 degrees Celsius (C).
However, the police have warned parents that they are responsible for taking care of children while swimming.
In statements issued recently by police in Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) and Umm Al Quwain (UAQ), officers warned families against leaving their children unattended while they go out for a swim in the sea or play on beaches.
Police highlighted the importance of keeping a constant eye on children as they hit the sea waves while stressing that failure to adequately monitor the young impressionable minds can expose them to danger and lead to accidents.
"Families should not allow children to enter the seawater without the supervision of an adult to avoid the risks of drowning," said police.
The warnings came close on the heels of two recent drowning incidents at Umm Al Quwain (UAQ) and Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) in the northern emirates.
In one of the incidents, a 32-year-old Indian woman drowned in UAQ after she and her family went for a swim off Al Beit Al Mutwahid Beach on Friday (May 28) morning, the police said. Her four-year-old daughter nearly drowned, but she was rescued by beachgoers, who immediately responded to the family’s call for help.
In the second incident, an Emirati teenager, 17, drowned after he was swept away by high turbulent waves on Al Rams beach, which is located around 12 kilometres (km) north of RAK, while swimming with his friends and relatives at night on Thursday (May 27).
“Parents should not get distracted by phone calls or social media chats while on the beach,” said a statement issued on Sunday (May 30) by the Abu Dhabi Police.
The force said the best way to prevent an accident is by not allowing children to be alone in the sea or on a beach.
Police warned that a child could drown in just a few minutes without being noticed due to inattentiveness.
“Unfortunately, most cases of drownings on beaches are mainly due to negligence of family and lack of swimming skills,” they said.
The force also stressed the importance of providing children with swimming vests or life jackets, if required, and giving special attention to those suffering from a nervous disorder.
Shun restricted areas
Families have been advised to stay in areas where there are rescue platforms or lifeguards and to adhere to the safety warning signs on the beaches, and not swim in deep areas of the sea to avoid drowning accidents.
Beachgoers have also been told to follow instructions, avoid swimming at night or in the early morning hours.
“People swimming should shun areas in the sea with high waves and strong currents,” said the police.
"Some people swim in the restricted areas of the sea despite warnings and erected red flags."
The RAK Police also urged the public to avoid swimming during rough weather and follow the instructions about dangerous areas on the beach known for high and strong tidal waves and currents.
The force stressed the importance of following safety instructions and taking precautionary measures when going to beaches or swimming pools and picking spots that are safe and attended by lifeguards, who are professionally trained to provide first-aid in the instance of drowning.
Safety tips for kids at beaches
>Monitor children all time and don’t leave them unattended
>Don’t allow children to enter the seawater without the supervision of an adult person
>Do not get distracted by phone calls or social media chats while at the beach
>Avoid swimming in the restricted areas of the sea
>Avoid areas in the sea with high waves and strong currents
>Avoid swimming at night or in the early morning hours
>Provide children with swimming vests or life jackets
>Give special attention to kids suffering from a nervous disorder
>Follow all safety instructions on beaches
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