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Over Two-Thirds of Vietnamese Children Can't Swim: Expert

With summer just around the corner, Vietnamese parents and officials are watching nervously as kids dive into their water fun.

A series of child drowning incidents has sparked concerns about water safety during the coming summer vacation, as over two-thirds of Vietnamese kids do not know how to swim, reports VietnamNet.

In this month alone, at least a dozen students have lost their lives while splashing in cool ocean water or playing in rivers in Tien Giang, Binh Phuoc, Quang Ngai and Hai Phong.

The broader statistics are even more sobering: according to the Swim Safe program, an average of 32 Vietnamese children die each day by drowning.

Nguyen Thi Trang Nhung, an expert in psychology, stressed that peer pressure and curiosity could propel children, even those unable to swim, to follow their friends into water. "Children have an innate desire to explore the outside world," she told Tuoi Tre.

Nhung added that parents should equip their child with swimming and underwater problem-solving skills to protect themselves and others from tragic incidents. However, many parents rely too much on schools for such training. Some, on the other hand, rarely give their children the opportunity to join water activities, the news source shares.

Vietnamese authorities have been trying to incorporate swimming into extra-curricular activities at schools since 2010, reports Nguoi Lao Dong. However, according to Ngu Duy Anh, an official from the Ministry of Education and Training, implementation has stalled due to a lack of funding and swimming pool facilities.

[Photo via Ngo Quyen]

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