More than 300 people have drowned in Germany this year, with lifeguards attributing some of the deaths to phone-addicted parents who aren’t keeping an eye on their children when they’re in the water. “Too few parents and grandparents are heeding the advice: When your children and grandchildren are in the water, put your smartphone away,” Achim Wiese, a spokesman for the German Lifeguard Association, told The Guardian. Thus far this summer, 20 children under the age of 15 have died from drowning. Forty people between the ages of 16 and 25 have also drowned this year, as a heat wave in Germany rages on. Peter Harzheim, of the German federation of swimming-pool supervisors, told local media they’re seeing parents “treat[ing] swimming pools like a kindergarten” because they’re “fixated” on their smartphones. “It’s sad that parents behave so neglectfully these days,” Harzheim added. Local officials are also attributing the rise in drowning deaths to the lack of mandatory swim lessons in schools, and budget cuts that have made pools less available to the public.
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