Drowning Prevention Week – top tips to help keep the whole family safe around water

18-06-2020  baby swimming  Reads 1370x

You might be surprised to learn that babies can drown in as little as 2cm of water – whether that’s in the bath, a swimming pool, a paddling pool, the sea, a pond, or any other body of water.

So whenever your little one is anywhere near water, it’s so important that you never take your eye off them, or be out of arm’s reach, even for a few seconds - no matter how many swimming lessons they’ve had, or how confident in water they are.

Here’s some top tips to help keep the whole family safe around water:

  • Actively supervise young children both in and around water

  • Don’t be tempted to leave them unattended, even for a moment – if you must leave, take them with your or ask another adult in your group to supervise while you’re away

  • Don’t leave the bath water in – always empty the bath as soon as bath time is over

  • Keep toilet seats down and always use seat locks

  • Empty buckets, paddling pools and any other water containers as soon as you’ve finished with them - then turn them upside down so they can’t collect any more water

  • To stop children filling containers themselves, always turn the hosepipe off at the tap

  • If you have a swimming pool, make sure children can’t access it by installing a secure fence around it (one that’s at least 4ft high to prevent them from climbing over), and always keep the gates locked

  • Install a rigid metal grille on top of a pond to stop children falling under its surface

  • Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security with flotation devices & inflatable toys – they can be unstable and should never be a replacement for adult supervision

  • Never swim at a beach where there are large waves, a powerful undertow or no lifeguards on duty

  • Alcohol can seriously impair your judgement, so never get into the sea or a swimming pool, or supervise children, after you’ve been drinking

  • Learn what to do in an emergency

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Are the exits to the pool free from obstruction?
Are changing facilities clean and safe?
Is the pool temperature within guidelines?
Is the water clear and clean?
Is the emergency phone working?
Are rescue aids in position and in good condition?
Is the lighting working?
Is the swimming equipment clean?
Has teacher/parents/children confirmed they are in good health and symptom free?
Is hand sanitiser/soap and water available for teachers, parents and swimmers?
Have touch points been sanitised before and after each class?
Is COVID-19 Signage and distance markers in place?
Is equipment being cleaned in the water after each class?