by Justin Huggler, telegraph.co.uk, 5 August 2018
|The German Lifeguard Association (DLRG) has linked a|
series of recent drownings to parents who were too busy
with their mobile phones. Credit: Fabian Bimmer/
The German Lifeguard Association (DLRG) has linked a series of recent drownings to parents who were too busy with their mobile phones to keep proper watch over the children.
“Not enough parents and grandparents follow the advice: when your children and grandchildren are in the water, put your smartphone away,” Achim Wiese, a spokesman for the DLRG, said.
This summer has seen an alarming spike in drownings in Germany, as adults and children take to the country’s lakes, rivers and beaches to escape the heatwave.
More than 300 people have drowned so far this year, including 20 children under the age of 15 and 40 young people between the ages of 16 and 25.
Recent cases include a seven-year-old boy whose lifeless body was found in a natural open air pool where he had been swimming with siblings in Bavaria.
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“We see people on a daily basis who treat swimming pools like a kindegarten and just don’t pay attention,” Peter Harzheim of the German federation of swimming pool attendants.
“Parents and grandparents used to spend more time with their children in the swimming pool. But more and more parents are too busy staring at their smartphones to look around them, and certainly not to watch over their children.”
Lifeguards have warned that drownings are rising because people are not taking the risks of swimming in natural water bodies such as rivers and lakes seriously enough.
“The drowning risk in these places is very high, since there are no lifeguards:- a drowning man has little chance of rescue,” Mr Wiese said.
The German Swimming Association (DSG) has called for the government to do more to provide swimming lessons and ensure all children have access to swimming pools.