With the nice summer weather making an appearance (and hopefully here to stay!) our children are likely to be playing in or near water to keep cool. Whilst water is great fun for kids of all ages, they need to be aware of the dangers.
Drowning Prevention Week is a national campaign from the Royal Life Saving Society and this year runs between 16th – 26th June. The aim is to spread awareness and teach people how to stay safe near water.
One person drowns every 20 hours in the UK, and over the last six years 30 children under 10 years old have drowned in holiday swimming pools abroad.
Two to three year olds are most at risk from drowning. In many of these fatal accidents the toddler has wandered away from their parents and fallen into an unsupervised pool. In older children drowning accidents are more likely to occur when the child is swimming.
5 top tips on how to stay safe near water…
Be the lifeguard – If you’re on holiday in a private villa or even in your back garden with a paddling pool, there won’t be a lifeguard on duty to watch over your children. Make sure that children are always supervised around water and never leave them alone. Small children can drown in just 2 inches of water so even popping indoors for a minute can be dangerous.
No swimming alone – Explain to children never to go in the pool without you, even if they can swim by themselves.
Swimming aids – If your child isn’t a confident swimmer then it’s a good idea to make sure they have armbands or floats to help them stay afloat.
Swimming lessons – Enrolling your children in swimming lessons is money well spent. Lessons with an experienced instructor will not only improve their swimming but also confidence in and around water.
Don’t get too close – It’s important to make sure that small children understand they shouldn’t get too close to water without a grown-up. This could be a swimming pool, paddling pool, pond or the sea.
Have fun this summer and stay safe!