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Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Drowning is a silent killer and can happen within seconds, especially in children.

This is why parents must watch their kids very closely when they are in the water, a Hamad Medical Corp. (HMC) doctor has said.

The number of children who drown in Qatar is going up each year, the chairman of Qatar’s Kulluna Health and Safety campaign said this week.

Fatimah Ashraf Khan/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

In a statement, Dr. Khalid Abdulnoor Saifeldeen added that 90 percent of drowning cases involve children under the age of 10 years old, and 70 percent of those cases are victims younger than four.

He added:

“Drowning incidents in Qatar occur mainly at home, in private swimming pools and bathtubs. There are also some incidents of drowning in the sea.

Almost all the drowning incidents in swimming pools in Qatar happen when the parent or caregiver is not present.”

He explained there are several myths about drowning, which include the belief that:

  • Children will follow instructions and stay away from water hazards;
  • Kids can safely be left unattended for short periods of time;
  • A lifejacket or flotation device will prevent drowning;
  • Adequate safety measures (such as a lifeguard) are already in place; and
  • Younger children can play safely in the care of older kids.

Safety tips

To help keep children safe, the doctor advised constant supervision, teaching children how to swim and setting/enforcing clear rules about what to do near water.

Learning to perform CPR is also recommended, and free courses are offered through Kulluna.

Elysia Windrum

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Finally, Saifeldeen recommended thinking beyond the obvious to reduce the risk of drowning.

According to Kulluna’s website, children in Qatar have drowned in swimming pools, baths, fish tanks, buckets, on building sites and in the sea.

“About 70 to 80 percent of drowning cases happen when the child is not supposed to be in the water,” Saifeldeen said.

For adults, the Ministry of Interior has previously advised not swimming alone; never replacing life jackets with plastic water rings as they are not designed to keep swimmers safe; and never using water rings of any type if the water is deep.

Thoughts?

QFA

Qatar national football team for illustrative purposes only.

From cheering on Qatar’s national football team to eating cake that looks like Sheikh Tamim to checking out Filipino week at the Qatar Summer Festival, there’s plenty to do around town this weekend.

Here are our picks:

Asian Cup qualifiers

After six weeks of intense training, Qatar footballers are ready to compete in this week’s AFC U-23 Asian Cup qualifiers at Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium.

Qatar will start off playing Turkmenistan tonight before facing off against India on July 21 and closing the tournament with a match against Syria on July 23.

Tonight’s match starts at 8pm. In a statement, organizing committee chairman Ali Hammoud Al Nuaimi said security will be strict during the tournament. But seats will be free for all.

“We want the fans to come and enjoy top quality football. That’s why the entry is free,” he said.

Filipino week at Qatar Summer Festival

Filipino-inspired entertainment is taking center stage at the Qatar Summer Festival at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center near City Center mall.

Cuisine from two Philippine-based food vendors, Jollibee Qatar and RED Butterfly Services W.L.L, will also be featured this week.

The festival is open daily from 2pm to 11pm until Sept. 5.

In addition to entertainment, there are dozens of other activities, such as the world’s largest inflatable human obstacle course, a retail court and games for children. Entrance costs QR15/person and special offers are available online here.

Tamim Al-Majd cake unveiling

Fouj Cafe is serving up a 5X5m cake decorated to look like the Tamim Al-Majd that has become iconic amid the Gulf dispute.

Simon Chan/Flickr

Emir’s portrait

All are welcome to enjoy some of the cake for free, which will be available at the Grand Hamad Branch on Saturday, July 22 from 5pm to 8pm.

There will also be cupcake decorating for children. More information is available online here.

Skate girls of Kabul

A portrait exhibition about Afghan girls who have taken up skateboarding will make its regional premiere in Qatar this week.

The Skate Girls of Kabul series was taken by award-winning photographer Jessica Fulford-Dobson in 2013.

Copyright © Jessica Fulford-Dobson

Skate Girls of Kabul series

It debuts at the QM Gallery (Building 10) in Katara Cultural Village on Thursday, July 20.

The exhibition is based on the story of Skateistan, a local charity that set up skate parks for kids in Afghanistan. There, it is taboo for girls to ride bikes, but not necessarily skateboards.

You can check it out from Monday to Thursday, 10am to 8pm; Fridays from 3pm to 9pm and Saturdays from 10am to 8pm. The gallery is closed on Sundays.

Sunset dinner cruise

Local travel agency National Cruise is holding three-hour dhow cruises along the Pearl Qatar on Thursday, July 20 from 6 to 9pm.

National Cruise/Facebook

Dhow cruise

The trip includes an open buffet in an air-conditioned dhow and a view of Qatar’s skyline. The pick-up point is at Gate 2 of the Pearl.

The cruise costs QR175/adult and QR75/child (ages three to 12 years old). Call 50008830 for more details or see more info online here.

Bonus:

  • Casting call: The Doha Film Institute is seeking actors and actresses of all ages with a “Qatari look” who speak the local dialect for a new film. Auditions will be held between July 16 and Aug. 10. To apply, email [email protected]

What are your plans for the weekend? Thoughts?

Stewart Lacey/Flickr

Souq Wakrah beachfront

For the first time, visitors to Souq Al Wakrah will be able to go swimming on its beachfront.

Starting Thursday, the beach will be open and free to all for use, taking into account “the norms and traditions of society,” QNA reports.

Officials said they are testing out open access on a trial basis as a “means of entertainment” while it’s hot outside.

Lesley Walker / Doha News

Souq Wakrah under construction in 2014

The news is sure to cheer residents, many of whom are always looking for an affordable place to cool down during Qatar’s summer months.

Swimsuits are required to access the water, and changing rooms are available for both men and women, Manager Khalid Saif Al Suwaidi said.

Popular venue

Souq Wakrah officially opened to the public in late 2014 and has been drawing growing crowds since then.

The market, which is behind the Al Wakrah petrol station next to the port, stretches some 3km along the town’s cost, with a Corniche for people to walk along.

Chantelle D'mello / Doha News

Souq Wakrah

Part of its appeal is its location in southern Qatar, away from crowded central Doha.

There’s also ample parking, a mosque and dozens of restaurants to choose from.

Have you been there yet? Thoughts?