Summer is nearly upon us and most of us will be bracing ourselves for the onset of requests from our children to get out the paddling pool or take them to the beach. The UK’s drowning prevention charity – the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS) is reminding us just how important it is not to lower our guard during the warmer weather and to make sure we keep our children safe around water.
Each year the RLSS UK makes it a mission to educate as many people as possible about water safety, in an effort to cut down the number of people who lose their lives to drowning each year. Di Steer, the chief executive for RLSS UK, has offered us some top tips to help keep our family safe this summer:
- We don’t want to stop people having fun in the water, far from it, 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.
- Drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental death for children in the UK, with latest stats showing 56 under 10s lost their life in just five years.
- Around 400 people drown every year and many more have near-drowning experiences, sometimes leading to life changing injuries.
- We 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.
- There are a number of things you can do to help 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 arrangements 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
We hope you all have a fun and relaxing summer. Stay Safe.”
Article written by The Drowning Prevention Charity Royal Life Saying Society UK. They run a campaign every summer to promote water safety nationwide through a week of activities and promotion. If you wanted to get involved with drowning prevention week visit RLSS.