Sweden sees rise in number of drownings in connection with heatwave

The exceptionally warm Swedish summer has had unfortunate consequences when it comes to the frequency of accidental drownings occurring in the country, with the number of child fatalities between May and June reaching the same level as the entirety of 2017.

Sweden sees rise in number of drownings in connection with heatwave
People swimming in Malmö. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

In May and June a combined 39 people drowned in Sweden (21 in May and 18 in June), with five of the fatalities children, according to preliminary figures from the Swedish Lifeguard Society (Svenska Livräddningssällskapet).

That is already as many child deaths from drowning as there were in the 12 months of 2017. In total 92 people died by drowning last year, and the overall figure for 2018 so far is 62.

READ ALSO: Sweden issues 'unusual' weather warning as heatwave continues

“What sticks out above all is the number of fatalities caused by swimming accidents,” Svenska Livräddningssällskapet explained.

The agency recommends that a strong swimmer should always be present when entering the water, and children under the age of six as well as adults and children who are not strong swimmers should always be within arm's length of an adult who is. Swimming and drinking alcohol should also be kept separate.

It has been an unusually warm summer in Sweden, with the good weather arriving as early as May and barely taking a break since. Along with accidents among revelers taking to the water, the high temperatures have also caused dry conditions and forest fires.

READ ALSO: Watch your swimming kids, not phones, Swedish rescue services warn parents

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