Princess Charlene foundation marks World First Aid Day in SA

The princess's foundation is hosting a series of events across South Africa to raise awareness of the risks associated with water in and around the home.

FILE: Princess Charlene of Monaco teaching children first aid and CPR in Daveyton, Johannesburg. Picture: Eric Mathon/Palais Princier

JOHANNESBURG - The Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation South Africa is marking World First Aid Day 2017 by raising awareness of the risks associated with domestic accidents in and around water.

The foundation is hosting a series of events across the country to raise awareness of the risks associated with water in and around the home as it marks World First Aid Day on 9 September 2017.

In 2016, as the IFRC Goodwill Ambassador for First Aid, HSH Princess Charlene of Monaco launched World First Aid Day at the headquarters of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Geneva to promote first aid for children by children.

This year, the theme of World First Aid Day is 'Domestic Accidents' which refers to preventable or unintentional injuries that occur in the home environment.

Homes are often perceived as safe places but unfortunately this is where 80% of accidents occur. Alarmingly, drowning is among the 10 leading causes of death of children and young people in every region of the world, with children aged under 5 years disproportionately at risk.

In South Africa, more than 1,500 people die each year from drowning, the second leading cause of accidental death after road accidents. In urban areas, approximately half of drowning incidents occur in and around the home in buckets, bathtubs and swimming pools. This figure rises to 70% in children under the age of 5.

“Unfortunately, children are particularly susceptible to accidents in their daily lives but active adult supervision and a knowledge of first aid, CPR and water safety will help prevent drowning accidents at home and save lives,” says HSH Princess Charlene.

World First Aid Day also recognises the important role that National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and other organisations have in providing quality first aid training worldwide as a way of building people's capacity to respond in situations of injury or illness.

South African Red Cross Society chairperson Connie Motshumi explains, “First aid is an essential basic life-saving skill that dynamic and developing communities need to possess in order to deal with sudden emergencies. On this World First Aid Day, we are proud to be leaders in training and educating communities, both rural and urban. We encourage South Africans to acquire First Aid knowledge to help save a life and avoid unnecessary deaths!"

The princess, who is patron of the South African Red Cross Society, is particularly passionate about teaching children essential first aid and water safety skills.

Princess Charlene of Monaco teaching South African children to swim as part of the South Africa-Monaco Rugby Exchange. Picture: Gaetan Luci/Palais Princier.

FILE: Princess Charlene of Monaco teaching South African children to swim. Picture: Gaetan Luci/Palais Princier.

“Empowering young people, who are so often first on the scene of an accident, as first aid providers will help equip them to be able to assist responsibly in an emergency,” highlights HSH Princess Charlene.

Earlier this year, on her visit to Johannesburg, she visited Gugulesizwe Primary School with the South African Red Cross Society and taught child heads of home essential first aid and CPR skills.

The Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation was established in 2012 and has since reached over 300,000 people worldwide in its quest to end death by drowning, with operations being established in South Africa in 2013.

In 2016, the foundation taught 2,507 children to swim and 27,242 children essential water safety skills through 23 projects across South Africa.