Do your children know how to stay safe around water?
There is nothing more devastating than losing a child and as parents, we would do everything in our power to keep them safe.
It surprised us to learn that drowning is still one of the leading causes of accidental death in children, and that people are more likely to die from drowning than they are from being hit by a car or in a domestic fire.
Throughout 2020 and 2021, young people missed out on the vital opportunity to swim, leaving a dramatic gap in school swimming and water safety education.
With summer fast-approaching, everyone is keen to get out and enjoy the UK’s water sites, teaching your family how to be safe near water is more important now than ever before.
On average 402 people accidentally drowning every year and when a child reaches 15-years-old, statistically the water is more likely to claim their life. For every drowning death that occurs, there are more than 10 near-drownings, with many of these leading to life-changing injuries.
Drowning Prevention Week, the national campaign run by the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) 18-25 June 2022, aims to help everyone across the UK and Ireland enjoy water safely.
Drowning is preventable and with a little knowledge and awareness can be avoided. The campaign encourages parents, schools, leisure centres, community groups and businesses to use the Charity’s free online resources to teach children and young people, the skills they need to enjoy a lifetime of fun in the water. To access the resources visit the Royal Life Saving Society UK website.
There are a number of things you can do to help keep your family safe this summer:
At open water
- Check water sites for hazards, check the safest places to swim and always read the signs. Take time to check the depth and water flow of open water sites
- Swim with any children in your care – it’s more fun and you can keep them close and safe
- On beaches, check when the tide will be high and low, and make sure that you won’t be cut off from the beach exit by the rising tide. Also, learn to identify dangerous rip-currents
- Inflatable dinghies or lilos are a well-known hazard – each year there are drownings as people on inflatables are blown out to sea. Do not use them in open water
- Do not swim near to or dive from rocks, piers, breakwater or coral
- Swim parallel to the beach and close to the shore
- Cold Water is a well-known factor in a number of incidents – always try to play in water where there is a lifeguard or supervision, if not stay close to the shore and enter slowly
- Empty paddling pools as soon as they have been used. Always turn paddling pools upside down once empty
- Always supervise your children around water, including bath time (never leave children unattended)
- Always use gates, fences and locks to prevent children from gaining access to pools of water
- Securely cover all water storage tanks and drains
The majority of drowning incidents can be prevented, especially with children. No family should ever have to go through the pain of losing a child through drowning. Make sure everyone is aware of the basic principles of water safety and help keep your families safe this summer.
The Royal Life Saving Society UK has issued the following advice:
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