No, neither floats nor armbands are effective means of staying safe in the water. There is also no use pouring urine or baking soda on a jellyfish sting because it will not relieve the pain. And forget it, you won’t get any benefit from waiting two hours after eating to take a bath. These are some of the most widespread myths and false beliefs regarding bathing and everything related to the aquatic environment.
“Some of these beliefs are not innocuous, since they can lead to wrong decisions or interventions that do not conform to the available scientific evidence and, consequently, put bathers’ lives at risk.” Said by someone who knows what he’s talking about. Is about Roberto Jesus Barcala FurelosPhD in Sports Sciences and Nursing, coordinator of the Lifeguard Group of the Spanish Society of Emergency and Emergency Medicine (Semes), principal investigator of the Performance and Motor Skills for Rescue and Lifeguards group (Remoss), of the University of Vigo , and someone who never tires, year after year, of leading an informative work that saves lives.
The latest data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE) show, in fact, that preventive disclosure in which military Barcala is still essential: in 2021 no less than 510 people died in Spain (419 men and 91 women) as a result of submersion and drowning in an aquatic environment. Until the end of last July, those who died from drowning in our country already amounted to 222 people, according to figures from the Spanish Federation of Rescue and Rescue (RFESS).
And against hoaxes, no matter how deep-rooted they are -or, precisely, the more deep-rooted they are-, scientific evidence. The Medical Education magazine has published an article that, under the title Health education in the face of false beliefs, myths and errors regarding aquatic incidents, shoot against so many dangerous myths with the heavy artillery of evidence and scientific documentation.
The article is the result of the conclusions of a discussion group made up of 12 professionals (ER, paediatrics, forensics, nurses, lifeguards and experts in documentary sources). Nine of them belong to the Semes-Socorrismo working group, coordinated by Barcala, and which this summer, as part of its information campaign, has also spread on social networks a simple and enlightening document with 12 Frequently Asked Questions and Answers About Drowning.