Birmingham City Council: Focus on water safety 30th July 2021
With recent events of drowning across the UK during the hot weather now is a good time to remind parents of water safety.
- 90% of the most serious preventable accidents to under-fives fall into five main categories; drowning is high on the list of preventable accidents.
- 700 people on average die in water in the UK and Ireland.
- A stark fact is a drowning child can’t speak or control their arms; they slip quietly under the water.
- Younger children are most likely to drown in the bath or a garden pond.
- Children can drown in as little as 5cm’s of water.
Providers can play their part in supporting families to keep their children safe with topical newsletters, online briefings, posters and chats.
Some tips and reminders you can pass onto parents/carers:
In the home
- Babies and young children should never be left alone in the bath even for a moment, it takes seconds for a baby to slip under water and drown- they do not have the ability to right themselves.
- Never use a bath seat as a safety aid, they can easily upturn with a baby in it when your back is turned
- Never leave a toddler or young child in charge of a baby in water, they are too young to understand or keep a baby safe in your absence
- Always empty the paddling pool
- Cover any garden ponds
- Ensure children can’t get into any neighbour’s ponds
- When visiting friends and family if there’s a pond or paddling pool, always watch children, don’t allow yourselves to be distracted whilst chatting.
- Teach children to swim from an early age
At the beach or any open water
- The water is colder than it looks and the stronger than it looks
- Don’t use inflatables in open water, they can very quickly get carried away by a strong current.
- Follow the instructions of a lifeguard if there is one if a sign says not to go into the water DON’T.
- Always follow the safety guidance of any flags- a red flag spells danger, an orange windsock flying indicates strong winds
- Ensure an adult is watching children near water at all times
- Stay together
- In an emergency dial 999 for the coastguard
- Always agree with your child a meeting point beforehand in case you do get separated.
- If you are staying in accommodation where there is a pool do not leave children unattended, accidental drowning can happen in moments. If there is a gate leading to the pool, make sure it’s locked when there are no adults about.
Useful links to share with parents on water safety:
www.rnli.org/beach/safety Video on the beach and in the sea
www.rlss.org.uk lots of useful water safety advice
www.youtube.com The danger age video depicting 3 children and how easily they end up in water alone
www.capt.org.uk watch out in water poster and other free downloads on water safety