Fatal drownings are more frequent at the start of the summer holidays

Summer rhymes with heat, sun, swimming and drowning. Summer holidays are particularly conducive to swimming accidents. Alcohol, lack of vigilance, rough seas, the dangers are numerous and already 233 French people, both children and adults, had to be rescued during the month of June alone. While the summer holidays have just started under the heat and the sun, many French people have taken to the road to reach the beaches of France. But the rescuers have already been on alert since June during which they had to intervene more than 200 times to rescue people, adults and children, who were drowning. Santé Publique France has drawn up its first summer report on the drownings recorded in France during the month of June: 233 drownings, 86 of which were fatal, i.e. more than a third of the cases (36%). Although the total number of drownings has decreased by 25% compared to June 2021, they are more often fatal in 2023. Children appear to be the most vulnerable to the dangers of swimming in a swimming pool or in the sea, but the increase in fatal drownings is more pronounced among adults (62% more cases) than among young people (5%). Accidents are most frequent at the sea and along rivers for all ages, while accidents in private swimming pools specifically concern those under 17 years of age. Karine recounts how a few minutes of distraction cost the life of her son Joey. © Ministry of Health Precautions that save livesTo avoid tragedies, Public Health France recalls the safety instructions to be followed for adults and children alike. Adults should avoid swimming outside supervised areas, follow bathing instructions and find out about the weather forecast before jumping into the water. It is not recommended to go swimming while being drunk or in the event of a physical problem. Finally, it is always a good idea to tell a loved one if you want to go swimming alone. An anti-drowning T-shirt for children under 6 The safety instructions for children are the subject of a specific prevention campaign led by the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Sports and the National Institute Consumption (ICN), entitled “You care about them, don’t take your eyes off them”. Nearly 500 children drown each year in France, often because of a few minutes of inattention on the part of adults. Children must be supervised at all times by an adult, who accompanies them in the water if possible, when swimming in a swimming pool or in the sea.