Many children love being in water, whether it’s a swimming pool, the sea, or just a paddling pool in the garden, but drowning is one of the biggest causes of death in young children.
‘As children grow, they become more capable in water, but no matter how good a swimmer you are, you still need an adult to keep an eye on you.
- Only swim if you’re in a safe place, like a public swimming pool with a lifeguard.
- At the beach, look for the red and yellow flags and swim between them. This is the area patrolled by lifeguards.
- Even if the sea looks lovely and flat, the wind can sweep you out to sea scarily quickly if you’re on an inflatable, so it’s best to only use these in a swimming pool. Look out for an orange windsock: this means the wind is especially dangerous.
- Swimming in canals, lakes or rivers can be dangerous because of strong currents that you can’t see, freezing cold water that’s deeper than you expected, and objects lurking in the water.
- If you fall in, float or swim on your back.
- If someone else is in difficulty in the water, tell someone nearby, like a lifeguard or another adult. Don’t jump in yourself! You can throw them a life ring or another floating object, but it’s important not to put yourself in danger.