In the UK, drowning is the third most common cause of all accidental deaths in children. Even the strongest swimmers are not necessarily safe from the dangers, so it’s important all parents and guardians are conscious of the following guidelines on water safety:
- Ensure your child knows their swimming ability so they don’t swim out of their depth and understands how to be safe in and around water, including no running or pushing on poolside.
- Supervise your child when using a paddling pool and empty the pool after every use.
- If you have a swimming pool in your garden, ensure it is surrounded by a fence with a locked gate. If you have a pond, then it should be covered with a rigid grill or mesh. If your neighbours have a pond or pool ensure your child can’t gain access to them.
- Highlight the dangers of swimming in open water, such as depths being deceptive and cold water tiring you out quicker. Find out more with the Under-16s guide to swimming in open water.
- Children should wear an appropriately-sized buoyancy aid or life jacket on boating trips or by the beach.
- Try and discourage the use of large inflatable toys in the sea, as your child could quickly and easily be blown out to sea.
- Enroll your child on to swimming and water safety courses.
- Familiarise yourself with basic first-aid to ensure you know what to do should there be an emergency.
Finally, the ASA’s Get Safe 4 Summer campaign aims to educate children on the importance of water safety.