Parents challenged to play lead role to prevent drowning

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Parents have been challenged to always watch over their children especially those residing near water bodies to prevent drowning disasters.

The call comes in a wake of two incidents involving children, who drown in the Western Province.

The children aged three and eight years drowned on July 14 and 15 in the two respective separate incidents.

In Rusizi District, a three-year-old boy drowned in Ruhwe river and while in Nyamasheke district, an eight-year-old boy drowned in Lake Kivu while swimming.

Reacting to the incidents, the Western Region Police Spokesperson Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Theobard Kanamugire urged parent to always keep a close watch on children whenever they are near water bodies.

“Drowning and dying takes only minutes. Protecting children from playing in water bodies is in general a community responsibility,” he said

 He advised that constant and capable adult supervision is critical for all children, and pointed out that education on water safety rules is equally paramount.
 He noted that constant visual supervision of children in and around water is absolutely necessary and reminded that “Infants and young toddlers are more dependent on parents and caregivers.”
 “We recommend that caregivers never leave a child alone near a water body. There is need for a multi-layered approach. Communities living around water bodies should as well assign a Water Watcher in settings where it is difficult for a parent to maintain constant visual supervision so that there is at least one adult whose sole responsibility is to watch children at the water body, either chasing them or doing the supervisory role clear,” said the spokesperson.

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