Whether it’s the sea, a garden pond, paddling or swimming pool, river or lake, children love to play in and around water!
Drowning is the third most common cause of accidental deaths of those under 16 years of age, particularly during July and August. Unfortunately many victims misjudge how well they can swim, often unaware of how cold the water can be and what this does to their stamina and strength.
Young children can drown in just a couple of inches of water, and most drownings of children aged five or under happen in or around the home.
Here’s some handy tips, but read down for more advise on beaches, flags and open water swimming:
• NEVER enter the water or try to swim if you’ve had alcohol
• Always take someone with you when you go into, or near, water. If something goes wrong they’ll be able to get help
• If someone’s in difficulty in the water, shout reassurance to them, shout for help and call the emergency services on 999 or 112. If you’re inland ask for the Fire Service, if you’re at the coast ask for the coastguard
• Without endangering yourself, see if you can reach out to them with a stick, pole or item of clothing. Lie down to ensure you stay secure. Alternatively, throw something buoyant to them such as a ring buoy or anything that will float
• Encourage them to fight their instinct, relax and float on their back.