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Bathing water quality
Sanitary control organisation
Advices and recommendations
Water and health

What are the dangers of bathing and related activities?


Table of contents



published on 04/16/2008
Drowning can occur in the sea, lakes, ponds, artificial lakes and swimming pools. In France, drowning is the cause of over 500 deaths each year and remains the leading bathing hazard. By abiding by the following basic prevention principles, you will limit your accident risk.
  • Keep to bathing supervised areas.
  • Follow all safety instructions unfailingly.
  • Never let your children out of your sight when they play at water’s edge and never leave them alone in the water.
  • Equip your children with water-wings or a bathing suit with floaters.
  • Do not overestimate your swimming skill.
children wearing armbands
Watch out for hydrocution
child exposed to sunlight
Hydrocution is a frequent summertime accident. It occurs often when the body is immersed in water too quickly and is goes into shock, due to the overly large difference in temperature between the skin and the water. The shock can cause fainting in the water and lead to drowning.

Quelques signes peuvent précéder l'hydrocution. Il sont malheureusement trop souvent négligés. Ce sont : les maux de tête, les crampes, l'angoisse,... Devant l'apparition de l'un de ces signes, tout nageur doit se rapprocher de la plage et sortir de l'eau le plus rapidement possible.
Generally speaking, the following recommendations apply:
  • Enter the water gradually, particularly when the water is cold and you have been exposed to the sun.
  • Avoid overly-extended sun exposure.
  • Avoid bathing after consuming alcohol in excessive quantities or eating an overly large meal.
In the event of an accident, call the lifeguard services or one of the following emergency numbers
Fire: 18
Emergency Rescue: 15
European Emergency Number: 112