Lifeguards in Germany have strongly criticized parents who are fixated to their phones and don’t pay attention when their children are swimming.
The German Lifeguard Association (DLRG) said a number of children died this year as a result of drowning and those deaths are linked to the carelessness of parents who are obsessed with their phones.
DLRG, which has 40,000 volunteer lifeguards at German beaches, lakes and the coast and happens to be the largest organization of its kind, said parents fail to help their children when they face a difficulty in water and don’t come to their rescue because they are busy with their mobile phones.
The organization said in the past grandparents spent time with their grandchildren when they were in the swimming pools. However, parents nowadays neglect their children and spend time on their phones instead.
“Too few parents and grandparents are heeding the advice: when your children and grandchildren are in the water, put your smartphone away. We’re experiencing on a daily basis that people treat swimming pools like a kindergarten and simply don’t pay attention,” said Peter Harzheim of the German federation of swimming pool supervisors.
Moreover, the DLRG said lack of swimming classes by schools played an important role in the rising child drownings and in some cases children whose parents are working full-time tend to skip their swimming lessons.
This year as Germany sweltered under heat wave, hundreds of people took to swimming pools, lakes and beaches to cool themselves off.
According to estimates, more than 300 people died because of drowning and more than 20 of these people were children under the age of 15.
“As a result, many people lack the right knowledge about how to behave in the water. So people have drowned this summer in particular because they knew nothing about the water temperatures and the currents in the particular water they’ve been in, or because they suddenly got a cramp in their leg in the middle of a lake and had no idea what to do,” said DSV’s Axel Dietrich.
Spotlight, Banner: Reuters, Lisi Niesner