Having fun in the sun during the summer holidays often includes water, whether it is in a paddling pool, lake, river or the sea. Although, it is refreshing to take a dip, staying safe is vital.
Here are a few water safety tips so that wherever you go this summer, you’ll have fun and stay safe.
Supervision is key
Children should always be supervised in the water. Although it’s tempting to think that they will be safe if they’re wearing a rubber ring or armbands – you should never rely on them alone. In fact, inflatables can sometimes be more dangerous because if they tip, children can struggle to right themselves. Considering this, always be within reaching distance.
Pools and paddling pools
Most swimming pools have various depths and it can be easy to misjudge where the shallow end stops and the deep end suddenly starts, especially in private pools that don’t have clear markings. Ensure you know the pool depths before your children jump in for the first time (in case it’s too deep or too shallow).
When on holiday:
- Make sure your accommodation is safe in advance and choose pools that are fenced with locking gates.
- Check the accommodation when you arrive to ensure there are no ponds and that the pool really is secure for your child.
- Always supervise children when they are playing in or near water and be sober.
- Teach children to swim from an early age
- Speak to your children about staying safe in ponds, lakes, rivers and seas and always deter them from diving into any unknown depths.
To make your most of your time in the water, start teaching your children to recognise and observe water safety signs such as no diving, no swimming or deep water as early as possible.
See the signs below or click here to find out more.
Also, teach them to always follow the guidance provided by lifeguards and indicated by flags to show where it is safe at the beach – To read our beach safety tips click here.
Water Safety Code
As well as teaching your little ones about the different safety signs and flags, you should also teach them the water safety code, according to the RoSPA website, the code is as follow:
- Stop and think – Spot the dangers
- Stay together
- In an emergency: Float
- Call 999 or 112
The Dangers of Water
Some dangers to water include:
- It is very cold
- There may be hidden currents
- It can be difficult to get out (steep slimy banks)
- It can be deep
- There may be hidden rubbish, e.g. shopping trolleys, broken glass
- There are no lifeguards
- It is difficult to estimate depth
- It may be polluted and may make you ill
How you can help if you think someone is drowning
- Dial 999.
- You should do everything possible to avoid getting into a dangerous situation in the first place.
- Think of your own safety first and never put yourself in danger.
- Throw a buoyancy aid to them, and only go in if you have been trained how to help someone. A drowning and panicking casualty can quickly pull you under.
- If the rescue is too dangerous, wait until the emergency services arrive.