|Supervised water sports at Laguepie|
Children dying in private pools always shocks us, but in fact the number of deaths increases with age, and the most at risk group is the over 65s, whose accidents happen largely in the sea. Infants under 6 are the smallest group, then the 6-25 age group.
Experts put these figures down to a number of factors. For example older people are more likely to over-estimate their ability to swim (if they can swim at all) and many drownings are a result of a health issue. Infant deaths are almost entirely the result of adult inattention.
But some believe that the number of people who can swim is very low, with one in six French people admitting that they are unable to swim. And with municipal pools being closed and the paucity of swimming lessons in school the problem is not being improved.
It takes a year and more than 4000 euros to obtain a life-saver's diploma and the numbers are always in short supply.
Parents are advised not to allow their children to swim in rivers and lakes without supervision by a "maitre-nageur" and to shun private pools without adequate protection - and to teach children to swim.
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