Almost a young child below 18 or two people drown to death every day in Malaysia.
I always reminded my friends that teaching their kids how to swim is a vital part of parental role, failing to do so is a gross negligence.
My parents are illiterate type of parents, they stopped me from learning swimming in the Muar river because of ignorant about swimming skill is a survival tool. The swimming place in the river bank is covered with wooden fence, it’s safe if the kids learn the swimming inside the “pondok”.
I found kids born after 80s in my village are not learning swimming because the fenced hut in the river bank is totally deserted all the time.
Somehow I had learned how to swim myself in the Muar River, a survival skill I valued for life.
Do not cry like a baby if your kids drown due to no swimming skill. Blame yourself till the end of your life for not teaching your kids to swim.
Swimming should be a basic right of every child
I WOULD like to thank The Star for publishing “Be in the swim on drowning risks” (Sunday Star, April 28).
The article is furnished with hard facts, figures, logic and reasoning. I would like to complement this with additional information to further support the report.
About 300 children under 18 die from drowning every year in Malaysia according to the prevention of childhood drowning in Malaysia report.
These figures constitute 44.5% of the total drowning fatalities in our country.
An additional 200 children drown but survive. Statistically, it’s both alarming and appalling.
In China, swimming skill is mandatory for children. The Royal Life Saving Society of Australia champions the cause of compulsory swimming lessons in schools.
I sincerely hope there’ll be a campaign encouraging children to learn swimming and water safety skills in our country.
It’s the basic right of every child living in Malaysia.
It’s the responsibility of all parents to accord this right to them. Swimability among children is not something that can be taken lightly.
Research done recently by the Royal Life Saving Society of Australia reveals that more than 20% of children leaving school won’t be able to swim 50m or float for just two minutes even if their life depended on it.
What would the statistics in Malaysia be like?
I hope that water safety authority in our country will conduct a similiar survey.
There should not be an over-reliance on life jackets as the only means that can save lives of children.
During a ship collision, all passengers will panic. There’ll be a huge struggle, mad rush and dash for life jackets.
What if there’re not enough life jackets for children aboard the ship?
Life jackets may even hinder escape plans if one is inside a ship under water. Swimming skills would be more practical in such situations.
Lastly, I hope that parents will not find excuses for not giving their children swimming lessons.