We all love getting outdoors and heading to the beach, swimming pools and lidos, especially as the Summer heats up, but it's not always safe - We've teamed up with the Royal Life Saving Society to help spread awareness of water safety, so read on for some important advice and share with friends and family!
Latest stats show that 56 children under the age of 11 years old drowned in the UK in the last 5 years, with more than 300 people accidentally drowning every year - and for every drowning death that occurs, there are more than 10 near drownings, with many of these leading to life changing injuries.
The Royal Life Saving Society is launching Drowning Prevention Week, running from 15-25 June, to help raise awareness of the importance of teaching children to be safe near water - especially in the lead up to summer, a high-risk time of year for drowning. The RLSS UK strongly believe that lives could be saved if children and young people were taught how to be safe near water.
Drowning Prevention Week is a national, awareness raising campaign and every year schools, leisure centres, community groups, businesses and MPs use our free downloadable resources to teach their local communities how to stay safe near water.
the RLSS want to equip everyone, young and old, with basic water safety skills to help them identify risks and make informed choices around water based activities.
So how can you keep your family safe this Summer?
- Always use self-closing gates, fences and locks to prevent children from gaining access to pools of water
- Securely cover all water storage tanks and drains
- Empty paddling pools and buckets as soon as they have been used. Always turn paddling pools upside down once empty
- Always supervise bath time (never leave children unattended). Empty the bath as soon as possible after use
- When researching your holiday, or arriving at your destination, check the safety arrange-ments of any water-based activities and if there is lifeguard cover at the pool or beach
- Check bathing sites for hazards, check the safest places to swim and always read the signs – find out what local warning signs and flags mean. Take time to check the depth, water flow and layout of pools
- 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, be aware of 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
The RLSS believes that the majority of drowning incidents can be prevented, especially with children - make sure everyone is aware of the basic principles of water safety whilst still having fun - no family should ever have to go through the pain of losing a child through drowning.
We don’t want to stop people having fun in the water, we want everyone to have fun and enjoy the summer weather. But it is important to remember that drowning can, and does happen, and that there are things you can do to prevent tragedy.
To get involved with the campaign, find out what your local leisure centre is doing or visit thecampaign website for our free resources at dpw.rlss.org.uk.
Enjoy the fun, share your Summer adventures but remember to Stay Safe this summer!