Following the closure of swimming pools for schools, the government fears an increase in drownings this summer

This is one of the many consequences of the health crisis and confinement: with the closure of swimming pools since January 15, nearly 800,000 schoolchildren and college students have not been able to learn to swim at school. A situation which worries the Minister of Sports, Roxana Maracineanu, questioned by “the Parisian”, who fears an increase in accidents on the beaches or in the swimming pools this summer.

“Many primary and middle school students, where you learn the essentials of swimming, have not been able to have lessons. With the approach of summer, it is very problematic with the scourge of drowning which is constantly increasing over this period. However, the only way to fight this phenomenon is to know how to swim. ““Schools must remain open except in the event of strict confinement”

According to a survey conducted by Public Health France in 2018, approximately 1,000 people are victims of drowning each year in France. Drownings are thus the leading cause of death by accident in everyday life among people under 25 years of age. In 2018, children under 6 accounted for 28% of accidental drownings and 9% of deaths.

800 pools in schools

According to the minister, the prospects for reopening the swimming pools are still distant. “We don’t know when the public swimming pools will reopen and, moreover, they are managed by the communities, not by the government. “

To deal with the problem, the former swimming champion decided to put in place emergency solutions. Among them: the deployment of pools of 4 meters by 8 in schools and gymnasiums. If the system already existed before the health crisis, it should be strengthened, without “It costs nothing [aux écoles].

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The government has set itself the objective of creating 800 basins, which it will finance at 50%. In working-class neighborhoods, the minister wants to set up basins “Mobile”, which can be transferred from school to school as needed, for express learning.

Private lessons?

Other solutions are being studied, in particular the creation of “Northern basins”, that is to say “Those which can theoretically only be opened in summer, so that they can be fitted with convertible tops or a heating system. Objective: that they be practicable now, which would allow an offer for schoolchildren ”.

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Last possibility studied, “The linking of individuals equipped with a swimming pool and lifeguards” in order to offer private lessons. “There are 3 million family swimming pools in France, we have to rely on them! “, concludes the Minister.

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