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Safety measures at public pools need to be improved, says doctor

GEORGE TOWN: A spate of drownings at swimming pools and theme parks has raised questions about the safety arrangements at these places, said Datuk Dr Amar-Singh Hss.

The Ipoh Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun Perak Clinical Research Centre head said from January to September this year 31 children had drowned at these locations nationwide.

Dr Amar Singh said 75% of these cases involved kids below the age of five.

He said these incidents mostly took place in hotel pools and theme parks, especially during school holidays with the bulk of the cases reported in Selangor, Kedah, and Pahang.

He said this happened because many parents had taken the safety arrangements of pools and recreational areas for granted and did little to supervise their children.

Stringent measures, such as better monitoring from lifeguards in public pools, are among the safety aspects that need to be taken into account by authorities.

Dr Amar made these remarks at a press conference after the Drowning Prevention Seminar at the Penang Medical College, yesterday.

He added that support has been obtained from the Health Minister to establish a national registry to keep track of drowning cases with a view to install better safety measures.

Also present were National Water Activity Safety Council member Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, the college’s Department of Family Medicine head Prof Dr Krishan, and Malaysia Life Saving Society president Lim Chien Ch’eng.

Lee Lam Thye also urged authorities to create a complete database with statistics on drowning cases.

At present, he said the data on drowning cases was collected by various agencies such as the Fire and Rescue Department, the Malaysian Civil Defense Force, the Department of Statistics, and the Health Ministry.

This article is based on the Drowning Prevention Seminar at Penang Medical College on October 11, 2017.

The seminar organised by Prof Dr R. Krishnan, PMC’s Head of Family Medicine who is also a member of the Water Activity Safety Council and co-sponsored by Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry also saw panel speakers supporting from Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry, assistant chief secretary, Mohamad Faizal Bolhan, Life Saving Society of Malaysia (LSSM) president and WASC member, Mr Lim Chi’en Cheng and Perak Clinical Research Centre head Datuk Dr Amar Singh, who is also Head of Paediatrics Unit at Raja Permaisuri Bainun Ipoh Hospital.

This article was published in The Sun daily by Penang journalist, Edmund Lee

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