The Abu Dhabi City Municipality has organised training sessions on the beach to teach young children how to stay safe in the water and promote awareness regarding the dangers and hazards of the sea.
Swimming in open water can seem harmless to children and many adults, especially when the sea is as calm and clear as it is in the UAE. It may seem inviting but it is extremely unpredictable. The dangers of open water swimming are serious and many lives are lost. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) there is an estimated ‘372,000 annual drowning deaths worldwide’ and ‘children, males and individuals with increased access to water are the most at risk of drowning’.
By teaching school-aged children basic swimming safety knowledge, such as safe swimming zones, swimming risks and first aid skills, it will enable them to adopt safe swimming practices and it’s with this increased awareness that swimming fatalities will hopefully decrease. The event is titled ‘The Young Saver at the Corniche and Al Bateen beaches’ and many children from many different backgrounds are attending.
Trainers introduced the concept of the ‘blue flag’ to the children so they can understand the safety and environmental standards of the beach.
“The ‘Blue Flag’ is a certification by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) that a beach, marina or sustainable boating tourism operator meets its stringent standards.”
Awareness leaflets were handed out to the children and their parents. The interest received from the event was staggering and the Municipality commended the interest shown by families and so continue to set out fun safety programmes in support of the awareness activities.
A member of the City Municipality stated;
“Staging these events is part of the awareness efforts of the department of municipal affairs as well as the Abu Dhabi municipality and their keenness to maintain permanent contact with community members. Such communication aims at raising the public awareness about using public facilities, standards of security, safety and environment, improving the appearance of the city, and protecting the environment.”
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