The Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation “South Africa” was mobilised on 9th September during World First Aid Day, on the theme “Domestic accidents”, in order to raise public awareness of the risks associated with water. Children are particularly vulnerable to accidents in their everyday lives but careful monitoring by adults as well as knowledge of first response, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and water safety measures can prevent domestic drowning and save lives.
According to Ryk Neethling, Olympic Swimming Champion, Ambassador and Managing Director of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation “South Africa”, the majority of domestic drowning cases can be avoided. Being aware of risks and dangers at home and watching children especially around buckets, bathtubs and swimming pools are a first step towards safety. But it is also essential that all members of the family, and more generally all people, know how to provide first-aid, a vital step in the survival process if a child drowns at home. In collaboration with the South African Red Cross, of which SAS Princess Charlene is the sponsor, the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation “South Africa” organised training workshops in Shakashead, Pinetown and Ballito as well as awareness campaigns on the North Shore, in Pretoria and via social networks.
On the occasion of World First Aid Day, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) called for all children to be trained in first aid, and encouraged governments and ministries of education to make such education compulsory in school curricula.
“Children are highly exposed to accidents in their everyday lives and are at particularly high risk in the event of a major disaster, such as natural disasters, conflicts or epidemics,” explained Princess Charlene of Monaco, Goodwill Ambassador of the International Federation for First Aid in 2016. “If we give young people the ability to provide first aid, they will not only save lives but they will also take an active and positive role in their community.”
About one million children die each year from injuries that could be treated and several million are hospitalised as a result of accidents such as drownings, road accidents, falls or burns.
National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have been the main trainers and first-aid providers in the world for more than 100 years. Each year, these National Societies provide first aid to more than 46 million people. In 2014, 180,000 volunteers and Red Cross and Red Crescent workers trained about 15 million people in first aid in 116 countries. At present, 76 National Societies organise first aid courses for children. “We believe that at least one person in every home on the planet should be trained in first aid,” says Sy. When ordinary people know how to act in an emergency and have confidence in themselves to use their skills, they become heroes of everyday life.”
In sum, the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation is making a difference to people at risk of drowning, so find out how you can help, too!