According to the World Health Organization (WHO), drowning has caused over 2.5 million deaths in the last decade. It is one of the leading causes of death among children aged 5-14 in the world, and over 90% of drowning cases occur in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in rural areas. In Vietnam, the number of children who have drowned has decreased in the last couple of years, thanks in part to the national child drowning prevention program, supported by Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) within the Government of Vietnam, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI) and the World Health Organization (WHO). But it remains one of the 10 leading causes of death for children, taking the lives of nearly 2,000 children each year.

To raise awareness for this issue and to celebrate World Drowning Prevention Day – July 25 – we held a Family Festival on July 22-23 in Hanoi, Vietnam. The festival provided an informative playground for families to understand the seriousness of drowning in a fun environment, with activities and games such as face-painting, a flash mob with a water safety theme and an interactive “knowledge card” quiz. Parents had the opportunity to practice lifesaving skills with their children through the "rescue" activity, which simulated saving lives in case of danger.

Through these activities and games, participants gained practical knowledge about child drowning prevention, the importance of equipping children with water safety skills and the role families can play in drowning prevention.

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