The “Deadly Season”: Drowning Incidents Increase in the Summer in Vietnam

12 Jun, 2017


The “Deadly Season” : Drowning Incidents increase in summer in Vietnam 
Schools break up in early June and the weather is already hot. Children, often unsupervised because their parents need to work, take themselves off to play in lakes, rivers, ponds or the sea sometimes with tragic consequences. Children sometimes drown trying to save their friends – even though they can’t swim themselves. Whether or not to award children for bravery – including post humously – is a controversial subject. Should their valour be recognised or does it encourage other children who can’t swim to contine to risk their own lives?   Very sadly, reports are already coming in this year of young people drowning. Four children recently died swimming in a dam. Eight people, including seven children, also died in two separate drowning incidents in central Vietnam, earlier this month (June 2017) Van Tan Lanh, 68, took his two granddaughters and one of their friends to help wash the family’s cattle in the Kut river in Binh Dinh province’s Tay Son district. When the cattle returned home unaccompanied, neighbours rushed to the river and found Lanh floating dead in the water along with his grandchildren~Nguyen Thi Phuong Thanh, 14, and Nguyen Thi Tuyet Bang, 12, as well as 8-year-old Tran Anh Tuan. Later the same day in Gia Lai province, grade school students~Nguyen Le Hai Yen, Do Ngoc Thuan, Nguyen Thi Hao, and Tong Thi Quynh Huong were found dead at a lake near their homes.

Drowning kills more children in Vietnam than traffic accidents. The number of children under 19 who die from drowning in Vietnam is anything between 10 to 30 a day  (and neither figure takes account of those injured). Please continue to support us with donations and fund raising. We are grateful for anything you can do to help us save children’s lives.

Drowning: the “Silent Epidemic”
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that drowning claims the lives of more than 60,000 children under the age of five and more than 360,000 people globally a year.  Bloomberg Philanthropies announced a $25 million expansion of its global drowning prevention program in May. The first phase of its drowning program in 2012 tested the effectiveness of playpens and community daycare as prevention measures in Bangladesh and found them to be very effective in preventing drowning in children under five. Phase two of the program will inter alia expand the use of daycare and support survival swimming in Vietnam –  as well as continue to support successful community-based daycares in Bangladesh. You can read more and download the WHO report here.


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