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Watch out in water this Summer

Drowning happens silently. A drowning child can’t speak or control their arms. They slip quietly under the water. It’s only in the movies they splash about and cry for help. It’s a scary thought. But once you understand how and where drowning happens, there are things you can do to prevent it.


Babies and small children – mostly drown at home in the bath or in the garden, in just a few centimetres of water. Keep your baby or young child in arm’s reach all the time when they’re in or near water.



Asian baby being bathed in his mother's arms

• Get everything you need ready before bath time. You’ll need to stay with your baby or young child
all the time they’re in the bath.
• Bath seats are great for supporting your baby in the bath but they’re not safety aids. Don’t leave your baby alone in one even for a moment. They can topple or your baby can slip out.
• Don’t rely on your toddler to keep an eye on the baby while you pop out for a towel, as they’re still too young to understand danger.


In the garden

White toddler boy in blue vest playing with a hosepipe

• Empty the paddling pool out after you’ve used it
• Turn a pond into a sandpit, or fence it in or cover it while your children are little
• Make sure your child can’t get to the neighbour’s pond
• Be alert to ponds, pools or hot tubs when visiting other people’s homes.


Older children – can still get into difficulties.

Mixed race young girl in swimsuit with hair up smiling at the camera

They may over-estimate how strong a swimmer they are or underestimate risks in the sea or open water.
Teach them to float until help arrives.


Out and about

Asian toddler wearing blue goggles in a swimming pool

• Teach older children to choose safe places to swim like public pools and beaches with lifeguards
• Explain the dangers of swimming in open water, including strong currents, deep, cold water and things under  the surface they can’t see.


At the beach

three black children in Summer clothes in the sea at the seaside

• Teach children to swim between the two-coloured red and yellow flags – these mark the areas patrolled by lifeguards
• Inflatables can be swept out to sea when the wind is blowing – keep children off inflatables when the orange windsock is flying and always keep an eye on them.



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