We’ve all noticed the days getting longer and warmer as we head into summer, so off we dash into the garden, to the pool and the beach. With one eye on the upcoming summer holidays, RLSS UK, the drowning prevention charity, issues some timely advice on how you can keep your family SAFE, in and around bodies of around water.
The SAFE code is a handy way to remember key water safety tips:
Spot – spot the dangers in and around the water
Advice – look out for any safety signs and advice
Friend – stay close to a friend or family member
Emergency – shout for help and dial 999 (112 if you’re holidaying in Europe)
In the last three years, over 50 under 16s in the UK have lost their lives to drowning, and with a further estimated 75 UK citizens drowning overseas annually, an awareness of simple water safety principles can reduce the number of tragic deaths and keep water activities great fun for all the family.
RLSS UK Chief Executive, Di Steer said: “We believe that accidental drownings are wholly preventable tragedies but if you understand the hazards and follow our SAFE code, you can stay safe AND have fun in the sun.”
- Always supervise children in a paddling pool, by a garden pond or in the bath
- Empty and upturn paddling pools or other containers when not in use
- Keep any water butts and drains securely covered
- Unplug the bath when you’ve finished and keep the plug out of reach
- Keep the bathroom door shut and prevent access to pools of water with gates or fences
- Always supervise children around bodies of water such as lakes and rivers
- Take extra care on river banks as they can be slippery and fragile
- Look out for fast flowing water around weirs and locks
- Look out for warning signs and follow their advice
- Do your research – is there a lifeguard? Are pools gated or fenced off?
- Check bathing sites for warning signs and restrictions, then stick to the rules
- Make sure you know what local warning signs and flags mean, they may be different abroad
- Make water activities a family affair, you can all keep an eye on each other and have fun at the same time
- Stay alert – the majority of holiday accidents occur during either the first hour of arrival and the last hour before you leave; it’s easy to be distracted at these times.
Find out more at rlss.org.uk/dpw